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that might be counted in the dozens, and each of those survivors of benghazi, the public doesn't yet know a single name of any of the survivors, any of those on -- let me say, on our side of the argument of this on benghazi, we don't know the names of the survivors. we don't know the depth of the injuries that took place, and some of them were severely injured. they have been kept under raps. they have been told they should not speak and what happened in benghazi. now, i remember when osama bin laden met his justifiable end. this administration couldn't come out before the cameras and tell us how that all unfolded and couldn't wait to tell us about every detail that wasn't classified on the -- on the end of osama bin laden's reign as head of al qaeda. . we saw the expressions on the
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faces of the people in the situation room, including the president, including the secretary of state, including the secretary of defense and we knew when they came into the room, the situation room, when they heard the report, how the decisions were made in that white house. and we knew when people left the situation room perhaps to go to something else, i don't remember any of them just simply going to bed. what we don't know is this, this is what this congress needs to put together. we need to have a select committee, a joint committee -- excuse me, mr. speaker, we need a committee that is a committee comprised of the best individuals we can find from the relevant committees here in this congress, or any other individuals in this congress that have special expertise that raise their knowledge base and their credibility to the point where we can get the maximum report coming out of this congress, the circumstances that we have today on looking into the benghazi incident and the events that flowed from that are
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several committees that have part of the jurisdiction. the select committee on intelligence has part of the jurisdiction. and they have held some hearings and they have some knowledge. we don't know what that is, much of it is classified. much of it just isn't disseminated because that's not the nature of the select committee on intelligence to disseminate information to the public. another area might be our judiciary committee under the jurisdiction of what was lawful and what wasn't lawful and what might we been able to do. formulations committee has jurisdiction. armed services has jurisdiction. that's four committees i can name off the top of my head, mr. speaker. each of them have taken some kind of look into this. here's what happens. if you take a situation like benghazi or any major incident and you break it down into four components and you assign or the jurisdiction of each committee chair would look at this and claim jurisdiction, which they
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rightfully can do in this congress, they would take their component of it, study it, they might write out a report, and might be complete and it might be completely accurate. they can send that out. the unclassified portion, to the american people. that report goes out. then say that select committee on intel. then, mr. speaker, the foreign affairs committee can meet and they can call their witnesses that they choose to do so, and gather that information and perhaps write a completely objective and completely truthful report, and send it out to the public. all of that that's not classified. the same thing can happen with armed services committee. the same thing can happen with the judiciary committee. or any other committees that might have some jurisdiction. but invariably what you have are silos of information. a silo of information coming out of the select committee on intel. part of it classified that would stay in there. a silo of information coming out of armed services, judiciary, foreign affairs committee and these silos of information just like silos don't match up.
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you can't square the circle with the information that comes because there are gaps in their jurisdiction, and because there are gaps in the expertise that doesn't match together like a hand in glove or a finally machine gear. what you end up with is -- even if they did match perfectly, you would still have four reports from four different committees presented to the public, each one would have to be deciphered by who? scholars? the press? what might it be? so we are going to get to the bottom of benghazi, we have to put together a selected committee that represents all of the jurisdictions in the united states congress and all of the oversight in the united states congress, and if we do that, then we have the kind of committee and commission that is similar in nature to that of the 9/11 commission or the warren commission which produced in the end a one composite report, a book, mr. speaker, that the american people can look at,
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that they can count on it being factual, they can count on it being objective. they can count on it. and they can critique it if they have information out there that challenges it. the warren report was challenged, but it stands still as an accurate representation of the facts of the assassination of john f. kennedy. the 9/11 commission stands alone. that report stands alone as the broadest and most objective and complete report that congress could put together, and we have acted and reacted on recommendations from the 9/11 commission. we need to do the same thing with benghazi. if we do not, if we do not, mr. speaker, history will forever question whether there was a cover-up on what happened at benghazi. in fact we already know there has been. we know that the administration went out and sent susan rice out to do the talk shows, knife different -- five different talk shows on sunday several days later to tell us that all of this violence that erupted in
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the streets of benghazi came about because of a movie, a video that was produced. as far as i know the individual that exercised his freedom of -- first amendment rights to produce that video, may still be in jail. that's the only punishment that's come out that i know of from benghazi. i think he should be released. that's the first story. then we have different stories that were brought out of the administration, pried out because usually the press, sometimes an american citizen, found that information, got it out on the internet, the press found it, and we have been picking up pieces of benghazi for six months. and we still don't have the truth. and the people who survived benghazi need to come before this congress, under oath, and tell us their story. now, if there are components of this that are classified, if our national security is at risk, then members of this congress should be called in to a classified setting and told. these are the reasons why we are covering this up.
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if this administration came opened with members of congress, we would honor the reasons for classified standing, but they have not. they tried to cover it up in the first place. they tried to convince us it was a video. and since that time then, the argument was made that there was no military relief that could have come into benghazi because it was logistically not possible. that i would say is questionable at best. piece after piece needs to come out into the public, mr. speaker, and i'm a strong advocate for frank wolf's proposal that we set up that committee to examine all of this and produce a report for the american people. that's simply triggered by my questions when i listened to the gentleman from pennsylvania. i would expect you would ask to yield if any of that was inaccurate. seeing not, the gentlelady from north carolina come to the floor for any reason? i would be happy to yield if that's the case. it would be my honor and
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privilege to could so. i would be happy to yield to the entlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: i thank my colleague for yielding. i thank the speaker for recognition. mr. speaker, i rise to honor the life of marine corps veteran lance corporal mason vanderwork of hickory, north carolina. after multiple tours of duty defending liberty abroad, this 21-year-old hero gave his last full measure of devotion this week in service to our country. we can never adequately thank him or his loved ones for all they have given, nor can most fully grasp the weight of freedom's burden on young service members and their families. but in spite of our incomprehension, our hearts go out to lance corporal vanderwork's wife, his mother,
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and sister. what i learned of mason is striking. before graduating from hickory saint stevens high school where he was regarded for his work ethics on the field and off, he knew he wanted to join the ranks of america's marine corps. days after graduating that's exactly what he did. friends and neighbors .neighbors recall his kindness and high caliber of his friendship. they know him as a good man with a drive to become an even better man. how sad we are for this great loss. in this time of tragedy, the country is sobered by the breadth of mason vanderwork's sacrifice and mourn alongside the people of hickory. may we remember his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers and commit them to the care of almighty god. yield back.
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mr. king: reclaiming my time, mr. speaker. and prayer myself, god bless that marine and the united states of america. as we do this transition here this afternoon, mr. speaker, i'd like to take up some of the topic of the previous speaker in the democrat hour who spoke about labor and labor law, and it was a strong message from often the opposite side of my viewpoint. i'm compelled to speak to it in this way, and that is this, first of all, labor is a commodity. it's a commodity like corn or beans or gold or oil. and that labor is the supply and demand of labor sets the price of it just like any other commodity. yes, it's human beings and it's lives and families, and i as an employer, i met payroll for over 28 years, 1 "00-some consecutive
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weeks. there were times we didn't go to the grocery store because, during those hard economic times, because we met payroll first. that was always the highest priority, the first cash that came into king construction in the worst years, even when the bank was closed by the fdic, i met payroll. when that bank was closed it was april 26, friday afternoon at 3:00. and they posted a highway paroleman outside the door with a red tag on the front of it and i found out they not only closed up my account but all of the accounts of many of my customers, and i actually, reached in my pocket, because i literally had two pennies in my pocket to rub together. it's almost a joke around our family. we still met payroll. we found a way to do it even though i cont write a check because the bank was closed. i thank a lot of the people that worked for king construction and people we worked with and for throughout the years. i have been in the trenches with them. i'm the guy that if they are on an air condition machine i'm down in the ditch with the shovel. i want to make that job go as
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good as it can. when i walked in my office before christmas one year, and i found that my secretary had decorated our christmas tree in the entryway of the king construction office with these gold decorations printed out like a christmas tree, baby jesus, snowflake, a of bethlehem, when i looked at that tree and looked at the decorations, the gold emblems on the back side was engraved, turned out to be the front side, was engraved the name of one of our employees or their spouse or one of their children. and these are the people that i went to work with every day. our employees, but the tree was decorated with the names of all the people that were directly affected by those jobs being available. yeah, we would never be a company that's looking at soon celebrating our 40th year in business if it weren't for people that had worked for us for a long time and been part of
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this family. when there is a death we go to the funeral of the family member. when there is a banttism, we got to the banttism. when there is a wedding we go to the wetting. these are the people that are like family. there is even occasionally a little connection of blood that goes on, but it is like family. it is family. i have great he respect for the people that do labor every day. and i am a blue collar guy here and at home in iowa. but there are two viewpoints here. one is -- another point i want to make is that labor has a right to collectively bargain. they have a right to bargain as a bargaining group another way to define that. nobody has the right to intimidate others. nobody has the right to be heavy-handed about it. but they do a right to bargain. i'll always defend their right to bargain. but one of the points that is a big problem for our budget, for example, is this, that the organized labor unions in this country strongly support and promote the davis-bacon act.
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davis-bacon is a law that was passed back in the early 1930's by a couple of republicans from new york. they remind me it was republicans that passed that law, and i would be the last guy to stand here and say the republicans were always 100% right, but they were wrong when they did that. they wrote davis-bacon, this federal law that requires that any construction project, $2,000 or more, that has 2,000 or more dollars, federal dollars in it, shall be by prevailing wage. definition of prevailing wage then is go out and survey the pay scale and benefits package that is normal and typical within that labor market. i can say with utter confidence that that scale is a union scale not a prevailing wage, but a union scale. they are the people that negotiate this. the people that sit down on the boards and panels do so. they are not measuring prevailing wage. they are simply measuring union
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scale and applying that to the davis-bacon wage scale. the result is these projects, these federal projects, cost an average of 22% more. i have records that go back for years. we do some davis-bacon-wage scale projects, some are not. we are flipping back and forth. we have a pretty good set of records that accumulate over the years. our record someplace between 8% and 35% is the percentage of increase in the cost of a project where there is a federally imposed wage scale. part of that time is, they don't know what the wage scale is. part of the time it is because they are opposing a higher wage, prevailing wage, and part of the reason of that gap is some projects are material intensive and other projects are labor intensive, so you get that gap between 8% and 35%. but standard here is 22%. think of what this means. if this congress were fiscally responsible and they looked at the unnecessary spending that's
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part of the prescription of davis-bacon wage scale mandate, then we would see the cost of our project -- if we repeal davis-bacon, we would see the cost of projects be reduced by 22%. what does that mean? we could build five schools instead of four. you know there are five miles of roads. we could build five miles of interstate highway, for example, instead of four miles of interstate highway. we could build five bridges instead of four. how many roads would have been built by now if we didn't have the federally mandated davis-bacon wage scale put in place? how far would we be with our infrastructure? we're a long ways behind in our bridge reconstruction in particular but also our highway construction and every year that i've been in this congresspeople come to me and they will say, we have to raise the road use tax because we don't have enough to build our roads. now road use tax, that really should cause a person to think.
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that is a user's fee. we pay it in the gas that we buy, and we expect that when that nozzle goes into our tank and when we squeeze the nozzle to buy the gas we watch the dollars and they go up really fast when you see gas that's over four bucks a gallon, we watch those dollars go up on the pump. we also realize between the state and federal government a lot of us are paying 40-plus cents a gallon to build the road that we're wearing out with the gas we put in. that's a user's fee. when i came here and break this down and asked the question, of tax/user rth of gas fee, 18.3 cents a gallon, $1 of that, how much of that actually goes into roads and bridges? and i'll tell you it adds up like this -- then we reduce it a little bit on this number. three cents out of that dollar went for trails for bike trails, snowmobile trails and that sort of thing. 3%. there was a one time $16
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million in one of our appropriation bills to do -- to clean graffiti off of the walls, retaining walls in new jersey. and i thought, can't they get their prisoners out there with a wire brush to do that? and 28% going for environmental arciological -- interest, looking for arrowheads and endangered species. can't somebody pay for that rather than the people driving on the roads? when you add davis-bacon to that, another 20%, 22%, so you have 3% for trails, you have 28% for our achepologicl and environmental compliance, you have 20% to 22% for davis-bacon wage scale and 17% for mass transit to buy people cheap metro tickets in washington, d.c., subway tickets in no or the l in chicago or the cable cars in san francisco, subsidized by people buying
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gas. add that all up and you're going to find, if you're good at math and paying attention, mr. speaker, that number comes to about 67 or 68 cents out of the dollar that goes for something else other than roads and bridges. now, how can we justify raising a user fee on the gas tax, as we call it, rather than reprioritizing that gas fax dollar pie where you get a third of the -- tax dollar pie where you get a third of the money going to roads and brings and 2/3 going to something else. i appreciate the gentleman who spoke earlier if he'd take a stand on that perhaps we could find a bipartisan solution. another is child labor. he made the argument that it was the unions that drive the child labor issue and now kids don't have to worry when they go to work. that's correct. hardly anywhere can young people go to work. i ask you to think about some years ago there was a time you
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could pull into any gas station and some young lad would come running out there with a rag in his back pogget and he would fill your car up and he would wash your windshield, check your oil and check your tires and collect your money and send you on your way. that doesn't happen any more. there are few of those full service stations left. one of the big reasons is child labor laws. today, child labor laws are written in such a way that a 17-year-old young person that is awaiting their 18th birthday can't get on the riding lawnmower and cut the grass around the gas station for pay because that's a violation of child labor laws. they can climb in a car at age 16 in my state and drive wherever they choose to go, but they can't mow the lawn in the gas station they pull up into to buy their gas. we saw this administration push child labor laws trying to get it pushed into the agriculture sector. and it was the department of labor working with the department of agriculture to
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write rules like -- unless you're a son or a daughter or somebody that's got controlling interest in a farm -- in other words, you can't be loaned our or as we say farmed out to your neighbors or to your kids' aunt, uncle and grandparents to do work. they are preventing youth that could be -- youth from participating in hurting livestock in a confined area, from being more than six feet off the ground so they couldn't paint the undereaves on the machine shed, from anything putting cted pain, tags on their ears, clipping dew claws. we have a nanny state that's run amuck, mr. speaker, and it's gone overboard with child labor laws and tried to push
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these child labor laws into agriculture. there was a major pushback that -- and because the family farm understood the value of work for our youth. they managed the safety best on those farms. they care most about the people that are there. the federal government would only interfere and that child would not have the experience of learning the work ethic by going to the neighbors or aunt and uncles or grandpa and grandma's. so even labor unions -- i think the big contribution with regard to on-the-job safety, the reference to osha and the history of that was a god thing. the organization of labor unions to negotiate for better working conditions, benefits -- and wages and benefits packages was a good thing. there has to be some restrapet on this. we can't be going backwards. this statement about a fair wage, well, we should be thinking, what is fair, mr. speaker? and you can look up the fair and the definition in black's
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law and you'll find a whole series of definitions for fair. i say only time you should use the word fair when you're talking about law is when you're talking about the state fair or the county fair or the world fair because otherwise when you use the word fair to talk about justice and equity, you finally come to this point that everybodiess -- everybody's got a different view on what the word fair means. and everyone that raises more than two children know there is no thing as fair. if you apply the same rule to the other child, there will be a reason why the first one should be exempted. we can never agree on the word that's fair. we don't agree on what a fair wage is. that's why supply and demand needs to establish the wage, not somebody's idea of fairness. and the statement about a living wage. a living wage. well, a living wage for someone in new york city is different than a living wage for someone that lives, let's say, in a
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low-cost rural area that might be in the midwest, for example. and these definitions of fair wage and living wage are all ways to lever some kind of federal imposition in that disports the law of supply and demand. and so that takes me around to this concluding part, mr. speaker, which is the law of supply and demand has caused people to come into the united states illegally and take jobs for a cheaper price than allows for them to live in this society. and the result of that is that in the area -- the cost for people who are in this country illegally just for the welfare parts that they access is right at $55 billion. if they are legalized in the form that is advocated on the other end of the rotunda in here, democrats and republicans, in other words, their comprehensive immigration reform and all other adjectives
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they use without using the word amnesty, it goes from $55 billion a year to $75 billion. if you atrack this group of people, 11.2 million people, if you track them for a life toim, the cost of benefits will become $2.5 trillion. if you think, mr. speaker, if this congress passed obamacare, this is near the anniversary of that, today we voted to repeal it the the -- i call ryan budget -- that's about $2.5 trillion as it extraffic lates itself out on the budget -- extrapolate itself out on the budget scale. and if comprehensive immigration reform/amnesty passes this congress, that drops another $2.5 trillion of debt on the american people. what we need is a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution, and we need that passed out of the house and out of the senate with a cap of 18% of the g.d.p.
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and a supermajority required and order to raise taxes or to break the debt ceiling that we have, to increase the debt ceiling. if we do that, if we put a balanced budget amendment on the floor of the house and senate and if it passes i'll be ready to look at increasing the debt ceiling for the president. if that doesn't happen, i don't see a reason to raise the debt ceiling. let's stare him down on that until somebody gives in. we need to get this spending under control. and the irresponsible policies is not the way to go. obamacare needs to be repealed. we need to restore the rule of law in this country. we got to shrink down the welfare package that's out here. 80 different means tested welfare programs in the united states, just $2.5 trillion for the illegal component of this. a whole lot more if we don't get these entitlements under control. mr. speaker, the solutions are here. they are on this side of the aisle. they're actually in the platform. i endorse many of them.
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i appreciate your attention and i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. king: mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on monday, march 25,
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>> people's lives and addresses the things i think they most care about. it takes in the tax code, lowering rates means more jobs and higher wages for the american people. supporting the keystone pipeline and american made energy means more jobs for the american people and lower energy prices. repealing obamacare and supporting patient centered reforms means more jobs and lower health care costs for the american people. and protecting and strengthening medicare means a more secure retirement for older americans. more fairness and kibblet for marched working taxpayers. in 1990's president clinton worked with a republican congress to grow the economy and to restrain spending. in the 1990's, the balanced
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budget agreement actually resulted in a much faster balanced budget than anybody anticipated. balancing the budget was a major accomplishment for republicans in the 1990's, and also part of president clinton's legacy. i would hope that president obama would learn from that. the american people overwhelmingly support balancing our budgets. and the budget the senate democrats are considering never balances, ever. that means more debt, fewer jobs, and, frankly, much higher taxes from the american people. we certainly hope the president will change his mind and submit a plan that actually balances the budget. let's be clear, the democrats in this town who reject the goal of balancing the budget i think were out of step of where the american people are. the american people know you can't continue to spend money you don't have. i didn't come here for a fancy
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title or big office. i want to hand my kids and grandkids the same shot at the american dream that i had, not some mountain of debt. that's why republicans are standing with the american people and working to balance he federal budget. >> there's been talk about these budgets here and budgets aren't binding. do you think that budgets cause -- budget process that they are essentially political weapons -- just show up in political ads next fall. have these just become weapons? at the end of the day they aren't binding. >> a budget is a statement of each party's vision in terms of how they would govern. what they think the appropriate role of the federal government is. and the house has done its part today. hopefully the senate will finish their budget soon. and i would hope that we could
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actually have a conversation between the two chambers to see if we can't come to some understanding of how we move forward together. even though we have two political parties with competing ideologies, the american people expect us to find common ground. i'm looking for conversation and outcome. >> question about gay marriage. i know you said you believe marriage is between a man and woman. but the head of the republican party i assume you have a vested interest in the party not shrinking but growing. the vast majority, or majority of people now support the idea of gay marriage. are you concerned about what this would mean for the republican party, particularly among young people? >> this is a very divisive issue. people on both sides of this
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question have serious positions and i resmect everyone's opinion -- respect everyone's opinion. i just gave my opinion. my opinion's born out of my childhood, my faith, my beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman. respect other people's views. >> follow on the question, mr. speaker, you gave your personal opinion yet it is the house -- house of representatives under your leadership that is continuing to finance attempted -- continue to finance the defense of -- >> whoa, whoa. you are confusing two things here. let's not confuse the issue of doma and the administration's decision that it was unconstitutional. it's not their role to decide what's constitutional. doma was a law passed by the house and the senate and signed into law by president clinton.
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in our system of government the administration doesn't get to decide what's constitutional. the supreme court does. and our lawsuit was to make sure that the proper forum was used to make sure that we know what's constitutional and what isn't. , you're to ask you back for three straight weeks after two weeks off. are you going to stick your -- >> dollar for dollar is the plan. we have not -- we have had some discussions but not any big discussions at this point. >> on that point do you foresee now the issue the sequester,
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government funding bill, debt limit, all been pushed to august, are you hoping to having those conversations with the president once again? are we gearing down to a showdown in august allah -- ala 2011? >> you're asking me a question i can't answer. we have made clear that to get rid of the sequester we need cuts and reforms that will put us on a path to balance the budget over 10 years. the president has been clear that we are not -- he's not going to address our entitlement crisis unless we are willing to raise taxes. i think the tax issue has been resolved. at this point in time i don't know how we go forward. but i would suggest that out of this budget process might be our est opportunity. i'm not going to risk full faith and credit of the federal government. america online have you had
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conversations with the senate on a budget conference and talks between murray -- do you expect that to start when you get back? what's your expectation? >> i have to talk to chairman ryan about it. >> will you have any bottom line for that conference? are you going to tell chairman ryan he is to go into the conference to hold the line on taxes? >> listen, they are going to have a conversation, i'm sure. we've got spending problem that has to be addressed. i believe that the revenue discussion is over. it's time to cut spending. the american people know we have a spending problem. you have to attack that by spending. but cutting spending. the federal government this year will bring more revenue in than in any year in our history, yet we are still going to have a trillion dollar budget deficit. doesn't anyone realize there is a problem here? >> speaker boehner, i understand you met this morning with some of your members on benghazi,
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there's already been a report done. multiple hearings. are republicans planning further review? are you going to issue subpoenas? >> there were some members who wanted to a conversation to compare notes on what we know and don't know. and frankly there is a lot that we still don't know. so it was a friendly exchange of information and some decisions about a way forward. i any on what happened priorle to september 11, what actually happened on september 11. and then why it was described for weeks after something that it wasn't. when the people were watching this knew it was a terrorist attack. >> the c.r. passed today included some cushion for certain programs like border
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patrol, to help them get by with the sequester going into effect, but it did not do anything to prevent layoff that is are going to occur at t.s.a., f.a.a., traffic control towers are going to close. couldn't congress have done more before leaving for a two-week recess to help these -- prevent those effects that are going to impact everyday americans? >> under this bill some agencies will have an appropriation bill that will give them some flexibility. others still have the opportunity to come to the congress with a reprogramming request. we would welcome those requests. there's no effort being made to replace the sequester. none. by the administration. we have reached out, reached out, reached out for 16 months. we have taken action twice here in the house to replace the sequester. and the administration now has
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to put the sequester in place. they ought to do it in a way that doesn't inconvenience the american people. and they probably find a way if they want to. thank you. >> before breaking for the easter recess approved the continuing resolution for the federal government through the end of the year, september 30. they also approved 20914 budget proposal. house democratic leader nancy pelosi also held her weekly briefing. reacting to the vote this morning on chairman ryan's republican budget proposal. she also took questions from reporters about gay rights and ways to strengthen entitlement programs. t's just under 20 minutes.
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>> good afternoon. this is a very exciting week for many of us. some had the privilege of going to rome to see the inauguration of our new pope, francis. i'm very excited as i have said before about the fact that he took the name of francis after st. francis of assisi, the patron saint of my city of san francisco. as i said last week the song of saint francis is the anthem of our city. make me a general of thy peace. that is exactly what we saw with his holiness at his installation. it occurred on the feast of st. joseph which to italian americans, italians all over is a very special feast. we were observing and celebrating st. patrick's day as well as feast of st. joseph this week.
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a better way than to have new pope with new inspiration and new hope. it was pretty exciting. i must say it was even more exciting to be there with the vice president, vice president biden was so beautifully received by so many other heads of delegations as we awaited the start of the mass. he also the night before host add reception with a number of american cardinals who were obviously all in rome, but a number of them came to the reception. it was a beautiful occasion all around. what's exciting for me is to come home and hear the interest that my colleagues have in how it was and how was it to be there. it was quite wonderful. a thrill of a lifetime. this week as you know we observe the three-year anniversary of the passage of the affordable
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care act. about affordability, access, accountability, but i love about t. most people don't realize, it's about wellness, it's about prevention, it's about quality of care, it's about big difference in the lives of the american people. no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. no lifetime limits on care. i see this as honoring the vowings of our founders who promised -- sacrificed everything for life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. here we have a healthier life, liberty to pursue your happiness whether it's to be a cameraman, a writer, self-employed. start your own business. change jobs. not be job locked because of health care, whether you have a pre-existing condition in your family or just the ability to afford access to health care.
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i think it is, as i say, honors the vows of our founders. it's liberating for the american people. it's very exciting in terms of the technology and the rest that is available to us to make real time information available for everyone to make our country healthier. if we had never had any problem with health care delivery systems or insurance denying care, it would have been absolutely necessary for us to pass the affordable care act because of the status quo was unsustainable financially. unsustainable for individuals, for families, for local government, state and federal government, unsustainable for large corporations. it's a competitiveness issue for our business community. and again federal government to go back unsustainable for our budget. you see by the report of the
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c.b.o., nonpartisan congressional budget office that already a large part due to the affordable care act, there's been a slow down in the increase of health care costs. that was one of our goals in the legislation. medicare has .4%, we talked about that before. medicaid, no increase. and that's very important to the affordable care act, it's very important to medicare and medicaid. it's very important to the american people and to the great middle class. already there is no denial of care for pre-existing conditions for 17 million children. starting next year up to 129 million americans with pre-existing conditions will not be -- will no longer be denied coverage. being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing medical condition.
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i have mentioned no lifetime limits on care, which is important. really sad, then, to say that in this week as we observed the third year anniversary and people begin to understand what it means to them in their lives and as the exchanges are being planned throughout the country, that on the floor of the house today we passed the ryan-romney republican job losing budget bill which repeals the affordable care act. at least the part that's about care. it takes the savings that we have in the bill, uses it to sustain their tax breaks for -- that are unnecessary and not job creating for special interest. so it's sort of a hoax that you would take the money and repeal the bill. so no benefits but we'll keep the savings. it is in sharp contrast to the
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bill that was our democratic alternative put forth by chris van hollen, our ranking democrat on the budget committee. and that was a bill that's job creating with investments and innovation and rebuilding our infrastructure and innovation that relates to energy. it's about investing in education so that we are competitive and number one to build that, strengthens and sustains our commitment to our seniors, whether it's their economic or their health security. in contrast to the ryan bill, billion, almost $100 $the 8 billion from pell grants, $100 billion from pell grants, and in the decade ends the is a job uarantee loser in the short-term and even more so in the long-term. so the contrast could not have been different.
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one, a statement of our values to support of the middle class, which is the backbone of our democracy. again honoring the vows of our founders. the other a job loser ends the medicare guarantee and makes it more difficult for young people to afford a college education. be - now our members will taking that message home about the contrast in budget priorities about the observance of the third year anniversary of health care, affordable care act, and what that means in the lives of america's working families. and in celebration of the fact that we have a new inspirational leader until rome, pope francis. >> you didn't mention the c.r. was passed which underfunds the affordable care act. >> it does. >> it also locks in four gun
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provisions that had been temporary. it locks in the sequester. do you feel like the republicans are on a bit of a roll? have you guys on your heels? >> i don't feel that at all. we are here to get a job done. we were not, as i said earlier on, the party of shutting down government because all of that is worse than whatever you can describe, including sequester. the -- by including the commerce, justice bill in there there are provisions that are in each year. so when you say temporary, they are in each year in the commerce, justice state bill. that is one reason it would be important to examine that more carefully and not just in a shut down government or not and here are the provisions of the bill. we did get one victory in terms of something in a they did want to put in that --something that they did want to put in that was not in furtherance of gun safety but because we agreed to a c.r., we couldn't agree to the c.r. if
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that other position was in the bill. we can get that information to you. the first vote on the c.r. was about substance. the second vote on the c.r. was about keeping government opened and we want to remove all doubt that whatever our disagreement on some of these bills, it was worse to shut down government. >> having ideas on the table and the parties fight it out. the democrats have a budget. the republicans have a budget. do you think that these things are messaging documents now? that the political wings of both parties use these to go back on the campaign and say you voted for this or didn't vote for that, vice versa? is that -- they aren't binding at the end of the day. >> they certainly shouldn't be but they are a definition of party priorities. and while we don't like -- as i
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say to members when they come here, you are an independent representative of your district. your job title and job description are one and the same, representative. you have to lead sometimes on national issues that may be viewed differently in your district, but the fact is you ve to vote on the basis of both the constitution, your constituents, and your conscience. those three seeds. the party of it is the least important. having said that there comes a place where you have a commonlyity of interest and -- commonality of one interest and therefore you are in one caucus or another. but are you here to try to get a job done for the american people and your biggest success would be for it to be bipartisan, sustainable, and that means we may have to compromise on part of it, but that might make it stronger. again the budget really do define what is important.
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on the one hand you have chris van hollen of the democratic substitute that we have, the only vote we could have is this today. we have tried over and over again to bring it to the floor. but they blocked even the consideration of it on the floor until we could get 15 minutes on each side as a substitute here. but that is a budget that i believe is a statement of values of most of the people in our country. are commitment to the middle class. the strength of the commiddle class. fairness in terms of opportunity d fairness in terms of residents. it's about job creation, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. you heard we say that before. and that's very important to the success of our middle class. it's about educating our children. it's about respecting the role that medicare, etc., plays in the lives of the family.
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where young people's success is better advanced if their parents can focus on them and not worry about their own parents. on the other hand, you have a budget that is a job killer. it's the same thing prackthrick as the romney budget, which was defeated by the american people in november. and that is about disdain for the people i have just talked about. it's about being handmaidens of the special interest. about having a revenue policy that is not about fairness but about special interest. and i think that is a sharp contrast. 98 billion dollars out of -- $98 billion out of pell grants while giving tax breaks to big oil so they have incentive to drill so they can make $1 trillion in profit.
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tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas while we have investments in infrastructure and energy here. i think that in the budget you we a blueprint for what believe in. and we believe in the middle class and we believe that our democracy depends on their being strengthened and a good part of that is something that separation has happened more recently. it's always been a debate. it's always frequently resolved when the rubber meets the road through appropriations and the rest. but the statement of values that we have is one we are very proud of and we believe stands in stark contrast to theirs. the implementation, the appropriations bills as they come along, would, i think, be more of a place where people would say, you voted for this,
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that, or the other thing. i don't know that that's still in the budget. >> the affordable care act, are there aspects of the law that democrats would still like to tweak or reform? what's the likelihood you'll be able to do that is an imperfect bill -- >> there isn't a perfect bill. if you know of one please let me know in the 200-year history of our country. but the fact is that there is always -- for example, i for one would like to have what the president has in his budget, hich is to have pharmaceutical -- prescription drug accounting done differently. so we are talking about saving over $100 billion. that's something that was very important for us in the house, but we could not get it to be part of the whole bill. so that's place where there are much more savings could come in. as with every bill when you see
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the implementation of it, you are always opened to say how can we make this better? if you're asking for immediate suggestion right now, i would would say first and foremost that there is much more avings to be achieved by the provision that's in the president's budget now that relates to prescription drugs. >> i wanted to ask you about a bill in new jersey that's going to the state legislature. a ban in your home state of california, governor christie has not said how he will roll on this bill. as someone who has been active on gay rights issues, what do you think of this issue and the broader debate on gay rights issues? >> thank you for your question
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because this is one that's near and dear to my heart and i'm very eager to hear what the arguments will be next week in a related issue, that would be the constitutionality of doma and the consideration by the court of proposition 8. i believe in science and i believe in evidence and i don't think there is any scientific evidence that says that we should have such a public policy that tries to do what you described that bill in doing in new jersey. i'm not familiar with that exact bill, but conversion -- >> conversion therapy. >> i don't know what the scientific evidence is to go down that path. i do know it's disrespectful and discriminatory and therefore i would oppose the conversion therapy and support the bill as we have in california.
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again i haven't seen that particular bill. i assume the bill says there is a ban on conversion therapy. what is the point? what is the point? i think it's stale. i think that younger people understand that we talk about respect for all, respect for all god's children, not want be to be discriminatory in any respect. that that really has no place and it certainly doesn't. will that be in the schools? is that what they are doing in the schools? taking people aside? >> i'm not sure. i just wonder more broadly what you think. more of these bills are being proposed. >> what is their purpose? is their purpose to -- we have been through -- when i came here two issues that were very important, hiv-aids, a global issue, but also the discrimination against people
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with hiv-aids or people who just are from the lgbt community, and we worked very hard for a long time on hate crimes legislation starting then it was a narrower bill, i'm very pleased that when president obama became president we were able to pass fully inclusive hate crimes legislation. again i don't believe in discrimination of any kind, and i don't believe -- and i think what you're describing is discriminatory. when it comes to the -- what's my re the court, i made predictions about the health care bill being constitutional. you remember that? i gave somebody more credit than deserved. netheless, but for all press me and saying but if not, no,
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it's going to go this way. here's what i think about it. doma is definitely unconstitutional. but don't take my word for it. you have heard me say this, i'm sure, around 2005 the republicans were in the majority passed legislation specifically related to doma which had, as you know, passed some years before in the 1990's. they came up a specific bill relating to doma that stripped he right of judicial review. the courts should not have right of judicial review, and therefore they were passing this bill to strip the courts of judicial review. why would they do that if they thought they had a constitutional bill? specifically related to doma. i feel pretty confident about what will happen there. but you never know.
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you never know. i think i only have time for one more question. two questions then. quickly. i'll answer shorter. >> seems like it's going to be the next big fight coming up, the speaker said hins principal of reforms in cuts, wonder if you're going to stand by -- whether you would be open to another no budget, no pay, where you do a balanced budget amendment vote or something like that.
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that's what they believe. they do not believe in aub public law, bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. it's really important for the american people to know what that choice is. and that's they would place in doubt for a moment the full faith and credit is wrong. just the discussion of it a year
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and a half ago lowered our rating, and that just doesn't have to be the case. we are, i think, coming back on the economy and the rest. this is not a furtherance of that prosperity that we want to have for all americans. that will be the debate we will and president obama in the white house will be the focus, between the white house and the speaker, but the fact is the american people have a lot to lose in that equation. the equities you must weigh in order to make further cuts on year. $1.60 trillion last now what they are proposing in
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the budget or remains to be seen how that translates into a preparations, and on top of that more cuts, is a blueprint not just for mediocrity, but a road to poverty for many people in our country, and not worthy of the greatness of our country. real fast. that theis talk about house leaders want to attach entitlement reform. they want to cut social security, medicare to balance the budget. if hed boehner earlier wanted to use that as leverage, and he said there is some leverage there. are you worried at all that it could put you in a hard place? >> they want to use medicare and medicaid and social security to reduce the deficit?
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>> they want entitlement reform. this would be in exchange for the deficit reduction. >> you realize how harmful this would be. f we are to have [indiscernible] in order to sustain social security for a long period of time, recognizing the demographic shift that is happening. if we are going to strengthen medicare as we did with our bill, use the savings to put back in for more benefits and right here and now for our seniors, then that is what we should do on its own table. it should not be anything related to balancing the budget for the republicans said they can continue to give tax breaks
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to their special interest friends at the expense of america's seniors and people who are dependent on medicare, medicaid, and social security. nobody cares more about the sustainability of those initiatives than the democrats. intellectual property of the democrats to begin with. they have been sustained by democrats over the years. we need them to be strong, but we need to have that discussion separate and apart from any of their -- because their view of medicare is it should wither on the fine. ending thelready me guarantee in 10 years. they think social security has no place in a free society. that is why they have initiatives to privatize social security. anytime you want to talk about strengthening these initiatives, we're ready and there to do it. our goal -- if your goal is to
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have the weather on the vine or reduced in a way that does not meet their purpose, them's fighting words. thank you all very much. happy easter, at the passover, abby what ever you celebrate. happy passover, happy what ever you celebrate. many of my kids went to georgetown. to study the brackets, because once i asked president clinton if he was gone to be for george town or arkansas. i will have to take a look and see how everybody stands. i have a lot of allegiance is to many of those schools. i do not want anybody to lose.
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i am just reading for everybody, especially the players. i want them to succeed. mad, addicted to basketball, but college basketball, very excited. i'm concerned about what is happening in the big east. it will be pretty exciting to see. disappointed that georgetown did not win the big east. i could never wear and aron jack at -- orange jacket. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] the house devil out for
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the easter recess -- after the for the easterut 221-s, a bill was pass, 207. is overseas today, the second day of his middle east trip. this morning he participated in a news conference with mahmoud abbas, in which he spoke about the progress palestinians are making since his last visit five years ago. he said palestinians deserve a state of iran. here's a look. abbas,k you, president i was last year five years ago and it is a pleasure to be back. i see the progress that has happened since my last visit,
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but i also bear witness to the during challenges to peace and security that so many palestinians seek. i return to the west bank because the united states is deeply committed to the creation of an independent and sovereign state of palestine. the palestinian people deserve an end to the occupation and the daily indignities that come with it. palestinians deserve to move and travel freely and to feel secure in their communities. like people everywhere, palestinians deserve a future of hope, that their rights will be x -- respected, that tomorrow will be better than today, and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity. put simply, palestinians deserve a state of their own. i want to commend president abbas and his prime minister for the progress they have made in
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building the institutions of a palestinian state. united states is a proud partner in these efforts. the united states is the single largest donor of assistance that approves lives of palestinians in the west bank and gaza. >> you can watch the entire press conference with mahmoud abbas along with president obama's speech today in jerusalem in 45 minutes, at 2:55 eastern on c-span. you can watch it any time c- former republican and democratic chairman ed gillespie and donna brazile seek about the future of their parties. the event was hosted by the group leading authorities. this is about 45 minutes. [applause] >> good morning.
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we are so glad to have you with us with this schleicher panelists that have not been on the sidelines. what i like about this is we're with people who have been in the room when decisions are made, they have been on the forefront when the sunshine of politics and the heat of politics has been bearing down on them. they know what it is like and can give us a road map of where things might be headed. we will have some fun, and because my day job lets me ask lots of questions, i want to make sure i ask the audience to think about things they want to hear from you directly. we hope our audience will think of questions. let me start with you, governor. there was a much focus on what is the identity of the republican party, where will it go, and have the defeats in the
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presidential races made an impact in a way that would actually get people a reason to rethink what the party should be. there has been a lot of soul- searching. >> you should have soul searching. particularly if you have an election like 2012 where there were a lot of things that made you feel like republicans could have won. you have the president who was not very popular. you have very high on a plug. you have a very weak economy. it was interesting that in the obama recovery, family income went down to $2,500 a year, where during the recession in come on it went down $5,000 a year. families were doing worse, yet in the campaign, obama ran an extremely good campaign, and he won despite his disadvantages
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and he won freckly at a predictable way. he made the election about his opponent. allowed obamaple to define romney. romney thether than fighting romney, and that is why it is important for republicans to look back and say what did we do wrong. the idea that the republican party is in some terrible shape certainly -- i do not buy that. i have seen terrible shape. i remember watergate, i remember when the 13% of americans identified themselves as republicans, and the national chairman appointed people to see if we should change the name of the party. for 40 years, the most number of republicans in the house was 192. andy we have 230 something,
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it is absolutely a bright to figure out what you did wrong, and the obama people outperformed republicans in that number of ways. the idea that we are on the brink of going out of business is overstated. >> do you think that there is with the report that the chairman put together and the money if the party is willing to commit to reach out, is that the answer to try to expand the party by paying people to the operatives out there, to make that connection, to look for ways to expand the party at tracks? >> that is a big part of it. i commend the chairman. it was a very thoughtful, ferro report. it has some good recommendations. campaignis, the obama and the democrats did a good job of having people out there.
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they did that better than we did. they had a presence in all communities you had that you needed to turn out, to win. we need to be in the community year round, cycle through cycle, not just in the last three months of an election. having storefront campaign headquarters and party headquarters, people in the committee all the time is an important part. a lot of the focus has been on data and the advantage the obama campaign had with data crunching and analyzing and sifting. you have to apply the date as of, and you do that by having people out there in that committee cannot talk to those folks that you have targeted. it would be hugely hubble. >> dollar, does that worry that they will have democrats on their heels? >> i have put that aside "shade of gray" volume 3.
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i'm halfway to the report, and it reads like something like i have never seen before. if this was a movie, it would be on the sci-fi channel. when you take a look at what of the providence have come up with problems they faced. we are not in the dinosaurs age, and is that the obama campaign had a good analytical team, did it operates its, but they had a good message, and a great message that could reach out to not only voters who turned out in 2008, but expand on that coalition. a greata campaign had operation in place. while we sit back and figure out when republicans will revive, when the civil war will end between the establishment wing and the tea party wing, i
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am for the tea party one. keep going. i like this candidate spirit they'd make me look say. these candidates. they make me looks a sane. both political parties are in pretty rough shape. while the republicans have 10 10%, we have 30 percent . 2014 is important for the democratic party. we have to look at the electorate and make sure that our message and future messages will galvanize and motivate those to turn out voters as well. >> how long is the democratic party the party of barack obama? when it does that shift so it
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goes back to the clinton era, if hillary chooses to run? gwen d.c. that shift take place? >> as a president goes through a second term, interest and the president starts to go to the congressional wing of the party. what obama is trying to achieve for his legacy does not necessarily lined up with what congressional democrats are interested in in making a clear distinction between who they are and republicans. i want to reinforce democrats been fall rubble. we're not in as bad as a shape as republicans. the democrats really are not attached to a, like republicans were to reagan. when obama ran, he ran against the establishment of a party. he did not have a democrat on his bumper sticker. his identity was to be separate
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from washington. -- he did taint the not campaign for democrats. his appeal is less transferable for democrats going forward than they did type of person had been elected like bill clinton. >> that is what becomes a case in the democratic party? you guys did a great job. jimmy carter was for years about but you made him the president of the democratic party for 16 years. are going to make george bush the president of the republic now for quite a while, and we will continue that. e really only have 1 1/2 political parties in the country now. there is a misreading of the republican party in terms of what the problems were.
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the fact of the matter is republican party is the dominant political party from but the party5, ran out of gas in the summer of 2005, the effects of the war, katrina, people say, what is wrong with the republicans? they have had seven or eight years now where republicans are roaming around in terms of their future, and they are not closer now than they were then. the political parties cannot fix the problem of a party, but they have to avoid becoming a liability. the job of the political party is to make a flat playing field, so the future of either party will determine who the nominee is and the next president is. until republicans take the white
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house back, they will be defined as a congressional party, the tea party, great for us, and whoever is the craziest person gets on tv and gets the attention -- that will not change for the next three years. until there is a nominee, no one is in charge of the republican party. >> what i hear on the road is people who are in communities, in south carolina, where there is a primary race, and you talk to people who say we did not watch washington to tell us, we do not what the establishment. you have been part of the establishment and the leader of your state. where do you think the war is in the party about who should be directing it? there is a much focus about having quality candidates republicans winning their primaries, when you look at this next senatorial group of candidates, and there are some faces that might be favorable. is there a war against the establishment and washington, or
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do some the of the bruises to get senate candidates who were not the ideal, have people come to terms with that? >> washington is the problem. is the idea that republicans think washington is the problem is not new, and it was prominent when we were in our c-net. -- zenite. i was one of 30 republican governors, and the control most of the state legislatures, governor's mansions, and there's a difference between state government and the federal government. the absurdity in a state capital as we did not have a budget for three years, yet here in washington the senate did not pass a budget for three years and the president just sure not serious about what americans think is the biggest problem of that country.
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they do not even have a budget for three years? state government, closer to the people, as to get things done. i used to tell trent lott, the difference between governors and senators is senator's talk about doing things and governors do things. there's a lot of truth to democrat governors as well. their party is so committed to washington that you do not see many of these governors who are willing to talk the way republican governors are about how we do a better job at the state level. there's much more bipartisanship. i like to think i had a relative success will governorship, but eight of my eight years of governor, i have a democrat house majority, and seven of my years, i had a democrat senate majority. we did not let that stop us from getting things done, and i think that is the way washington needs to work, and i think that is
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why you hear republicans talk the way they do. >> the most frustrated senators you hear about are republicans. >> about whether or not there is a war going on, there is a war going on. we just had a war in the democratic party, and it was fun. some people said, what kind of democrat are you? i can be a planned democrat, a foreign democrat, or passionate democrat. the truth is inside the republican party you have a passion that group of people, the tea party, that want representation in washington as well as in state capitals across the country, and they are fighting the establishment. these individuals say we did not want your luggage ticket, we do not want -- i think it is healthy. it is healthy to have people who are passionate at the grass- roots level try to dictate and determine the future of the party and the vision of the
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party. but it is going on. >> as the party failed to harness the energy and enthusiasm of people who identify with the tea party? so. do not think we control the house today because of the tea party. gain because we had these new voters. i came into the republican party in 1984 from the democratic party. i was a reagan democrat. i changed, and at that time there was a lot of friction inside the party from these conservative democrats from the south and ethnic democrats in the northeast and midwest coming into the republican party, and we'd won. votersota lot,perot were coming in. we'd won here we have had this
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tea party coming in, and there is friction, but we won the in the midterm. i think we will win again in the next midterm. i do not think friction inside a party is a sign of dynamism, and the fact is over time this friction will ease a little bit and the focus will be on how to weave when against democrats. good, it isis overrated. is you iit [indiscernible] the reagan wing of the party took over, and that was this out and southwestern main-street republicans wrestling control of the party from the establishments of the northeast and midwest moderate spirit the republican party is going to that transition now.
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the tree party -- that he party has taken over the party, is going through the process. this is a bigger than life transition. through, 3and i went losing presidential campaigns, and the process takes a long time, and ultimately you will reinvent yourself, but i think the republican party is only in the met early, middle stages, and it is not a battle between the establishment and movement conservatives. >> have the sparks from this friction driven by changing demography? is it about ideas and times we live in? is it about the use of technology, and what do you think is the biggest driver for the sort of turmoil within the republican party? >> i think is generational. we went from three losing,
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1980, 1984, 1988 -- not 2000. we only came in first place. it is generational. thehese parties to look at electorate, the democratic changes that are undergoing in our country, i think there is a dying breed of republicans that i grew up with, the conservative tax providence -- republicans, and it is a natural generational fight, and i agree, i hope they continue to battle it out until after we get a woman in the white house and do some other things. then you all come back from the dead in 20150.
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when the maya predicted the world would end in 2012, they were talking about republicans. i see the democratic party, we have enormous challenges as well. i do not like the fact that my native south has a lot of republican governors. i like to make sure that the party is competitive in the south as all as in the northeast and the western part of the country. for that to happen, we have to make sure that we can articulate that vision the people in the south want us to have in terms of our role about government, but also the kind of country we want to be. right now i feel a lot better about the democratic party than i did four or five years ago, because it is a stronger party. >> the notion we have to spend money organizing or we did not do well because of technology, that is missing what is going on. the fact is for a generation
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republicans dominated politics on three issues -- foreign policy, taxes, and social issues. among social issues, they won the battle and lost the war. there is no single social issue in your favor going forward. on taxes, you stand for giving breaks to the rich. they didreign policy, not support the bush foreign policy, so the stoll that made that republican party dominant come all three issues are in democratic favre. until you deal with these problems, it does not matter until network -- it does not matter what network you have. conservatives and, smaller government, less intrusion, and with they will have to figure out how to mollify the social movement. >> i do not think anyone has
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suggested the only thing that republicans are waiting right now is doing any better data bases and do we need more storefront offices. i was responding to a question directly about that. there is a lot of discussion going on right now about positioning, policies, looking for some of integrating new program pauses, how do we explain our policies better. i do not accept the premise that there is no doubt when you look at the gay marriage issue, that is very generational, it moved faster than any social issue i have ever seen. on the flip side, the pro-life argument has gained steam on the pro-life side of things. you can argue that taxpayer paid for cut asepsis -- contraceptives. the gay marriage issue has moved away from the republican party.
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how are we communicating our ideas, and there is no doubt, and this is in the report, that we have to identify and talk about issues and a weight more resonant and seems less out of touch with majorities of voters. this is not just introspection about data and tactics. there is more golan here in this discussion. but think doug has a point, it is a broader point. the republicans for a generation where the party of ideas in the united states. people look at reagan and reagan's policies, the ideas that made this country better, making our economy is stronger, making prosperity more encompassing for people all around. we have become now the party that does not offer that, does not seem to talk about that.
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we got to read gain our position as our party of ideas, and we have to give people something to vote for. having said that, we have done a very poor job at come up to it early in the last campaign, of causing the democrats to be held accountable for their policies. we came through a recession that was the deepest recession since the early 1980's, yet nobody on our side did anything effected like to compare these two big recessions, and what happened? and the three years after the recession was over under obama, 1.8%,ic growth was 2.4%, and they claim they created 6 million jobs in three years. is 6 million jobs. look at the previous deep recession.
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economic growth was 4.5%. 7.4%. 4.1%. the economy every year and that recovery crew twice as fast as any two-year period. here is another thing. the number of people working in the united states, we are at 58% of adults in the united states today are working. if we are going to have an administration that does a good job, people expect there to be opportunity, and we do not have the opportunity. republicans have but failed to hold democrats accountable for the terrible a comic, and not succeeded in offering an alternative. i think that will be what the 2014 election will be about. >> one problem about that, on election day, by double digits,
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were people blamed george bush and president obama for the economic problems in this country. he is by far the most unpopular ex-president. that was the problem with election day for you, trying to blend the obama administration for the mess in this country, where the public overwhelmingly believed it was george bush and republican congress have made that mess. >> i would suggest that romney did not do a good job of letting people have the facts that would cause them to hold the obama administration accountable for their policies. i do not take the difference and what you are saying -- two beganthese to expand-- we want the conversation because we want to include questions. >> i am sorry, but having worked for governor romney and president bush, i feel obliged to make a couple of points.
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>> take your time. [laughter] >> the bush library opens next week, and i believe as people look at his record compared to president obama's record, it will stack up very well, and history will be kind to him. in terms of governor romney, there are things the campaign did wrong. there is a lot of reflection on that. i think governor romney would have made a good president, and i would say also in terms of lessons learned, one of the lessons i learned is instead of being bad guy who leaves your happy home and wife and children and moves to a strange town for five months and lives in a studio apartment with a bed in the middle of the living room, to work on a campaign, the next time i will be the guy who complains about that got on attended a vision. that is a better place to be. coupleot overlook a things. it is difficult to be a sitting
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president. also one of the things we need to take to account and the report does is republican parties in five of the last six elections has not won the majority of the boats or a plurality of the boat. there were mistakes, but there is a trend here that you talked about that has to be taken into account. you wantediate that to comment on that when your former boss is -- let's open it up. let's see who has a question. >> i am from southern west virginia, and i was around to remember the southern strategy for nixon. i remember willie horton. i remember all the things the republican party was doing to divide during those years. i also understood that you were dividing that, that you were not
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against people in color. in this last election, blacks went 98%? 95 percent of 94%. hispanics went 71%. went it is not hard to figure out what is going on. i have 10 children and five are below voting age, and they all understand and understood what the tea party and what some members of your extreme right word doing against this president. they understood what the code what the shadows were, and they said we did not buy it back. >> do you have a question? republican party going to understand that you and a problem with race, the demographics going forward are not in your favor?
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>> i am grateful to albert gore brought willie horton into the campaign and to the attention of the country, because that is where the willie horton deal came from. it happened in democratic when al gore your greater point is a critical point for republicans. i come from a state that is 38% black. republicans like george bush and mitt romney get 5% or less. i got 20 something mississippi from the blacks in mississippi, and i would like to think partially because i had a good record, but also because i tried. getting 27%bout me of the hispanic vote after saying effectively we want your
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grandmother to self-support, i want to know who that 27% of the hispanic voters who voted for him. [laughter] the truth of the matter is, not only is it easier to vote for somebody if you like them, it is easier to vote for somebody if you think they like you. this is a real -- this became more than about latinos. became about color. when a haitian-americans -- americans both for democrats, then that says to me at all those chinese-americans who came here as republicans, because they were fleeing communism, all those vietnam-
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americans, all those indian doctors and businessmen who were showing off -- who were taxpayers and they voted for a democrat, a left-wing democrat, by the way, a far shift to the left compared to bill clinton -- in a lot ofbe voters'mind is about color, about more than immigration policy, and what should republican do? go out and see people's votes, tell them why you think that is good for them. i did not get half the black vote in mississippi, but no democrat could come close to winning in mississippi if the republicans got 25%. the was chairman of republican committee, we increased our share of the african-american and hispanic
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and asian-american vote. the african-american vote went from 9% to 11%. i would always say and i was very aggressive in carrying our message, opportunity and economic growth, and oprah byrd mobility. black churches, and spanish language television and radio, because i know that message resonates. bandstand and i would say i know it is not in my interest as chairman of the republican national committee, for republicans to get 10% of the black vote cycle after cycle. it is not in the interest of african-americans. it is not in the interest of the country for the parties to be racially divided. it is very important for amublican candidates -- i
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trying to chair the state committee, where we are trying to recruit african-americans, hispanic-americans, to run for state house all run the country so we have a pipeline of tim haleys, marco rubios, and it is important for us to take our message, and one of the things i was encouraged report is a stark recognition of the importance of this spirit i call it conclusive desperate the conservative and conclusive and bring people into the party because of our message resonates. --what the american people race is still a polarizing sssue, but what those jurvoter
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look for its acceptance and inclusion. they tend to become motivated to vote for or against that other party. this withnot see republican governors. governor barbour getting reelected with 20% of the black vote in mississippi is not outside the norm for republican governors. the campaignn of in virginia. of the mcdonnell got 23% black voters in virginia. you'd see in other states as well. >> let's think lightning round. that was an important topic. >> i will let somebody on the
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stage take up this business about blaming willie horton on al gore. that is reprehensible. americans who watch pundits, i know resonate with this statement, sometimes wrong, never in doubt. with that, i would like to hear from the republicans about white republicans never state their ideas for their case. they are always paring and the president. they never say what they are for. i think that contributes to the divide, the animosity, what ever. republicans can state what they are for it because there is a message there that does not get out. you may disagree relative to the willie horton ad, but what
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governor barbour said is 100% factually accurate. [indiscernible] --a republican running for >> i am struck by your question, because we talked about earlier, the republican house of representatives and the last two years passed budget. a budget is a plan reduced to numbers. the democratic sen that for three years never took up a budget. the president's budget was never presented by harry reid. the republicans and to this the president's budget in the senate so it could be voted on, and the vote was zero for the president's budget two years in a row appeared to say republicans are not for something -- republicans are presenting a plan of government
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and the democrats are saying let's leave everything on automatic pilot. coverhe news media may remains to be seen -- >> gentle nudge. ideas fromooking for either party, they are readily available in terms of covering it every day. i see each party lay out its vision on each topic. the question of what breaks through is different, but it is there for people who want to dive in and get a greater idea of what the parties want to say. another question. >> in the dutch general leading democraticin candidates will be 70 years and older. is chris christie to heavy to be heavy? >> age and weight in one
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question. is tooi did not think he heavy. he is the most popular republican governor in the country right now. rick scott of florida and john problems. they have in terms of 2016, this is gone to be the first open election on both sides since 2008. i expect we will have a large field of candidates. there's no question that if hillary tosses herself into the ring, she will be a phenomenal candidate. there is a poll out today that she beats both jeb bush and marco rubio by double digits. joe biden will be a strong candidate. we have an enormous number of good governors across the country, martin o'malley, governor cuomo, so i am looking forward to it.
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voters in annk aging society -- part of a obama's appeal was young and vibrant. does it matter? [indiscernible] >> i think presidential politics is very generational. when the country moves to a next-generation of leadership, they very rarely reach back and bring in an older generation. to a certain extent that was a factor for senator mccain in running against obama and partly a factor in romney running against obama, and that is an interesting to amend -- dynamic for the two most likely nominees who will be older on the democratic side. if you love and our field, there's a lot of fresh, young leadership in the republican party to emerge that will bring
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about a generational change in the republican party that i think will be helpful. if you look at marco rubio, paul ryan, ayotte, some of our under -- some of our governors from a clear generational shift going on in the republican party moving forward, democrats may want to reach back. numbers have been rising dramatically, where he is certainly not upside down. >> have a couple more minister in one last question, and we will try to have swift answers. >> now that the elections are over, we really need government to work for us. as political strategists, is there a chance that compromise can be commendable -- can
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compromise be commendable and not an election year liability? >> i work for rival the reagan. he compromised on everything. we had a democratic house with a huge majority. he had to. the real divided government can work. ronald reagan proved it could work. clinton proved it could work. those are guys who got huge legislation enacted. the reagan economic plan, immigration reform, social security reform --here is the thing -- the president has got to lead. for four years we have had a president was not willing to take that kind of leadership to make congress work. i hope he will this term. >> i would say this is not the season -- compromise is not in the air.
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but i think that the republicans in the house realize it is in their political interest to turn the heat down and not have a food fight every few weeks for the american public. what i think is in the air and is happening is people from the far left and the far right are starting to come together against institutions and the governing parties, and you will see more of that. you saw it last week with the drones. you will see it with the banks on wall street. byinesses that are impacted the federal government in terms of getting money. there is increasingly from the left and right a coming together against the institutional class that they feel has run the country into the ground. , i want to say thank you to all of you and our audience. we appreciate your attention. these are folks who are in the room and know what it's like and do not hesitate to share their opinions. we thank you so very much. appreciate it.
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i would like to thank you for your masterful job of facilitating this panel and to our guests, governor haley barbour, donna brazile, ed gillespie, and doug sosnik. esther they cannot at the ukrainian parliament, they had their fisticuffs out, and it is a testament that we can have a good discussion and keep it civil and smart, and that was our discussion today. i would like to thank hours sponsors, thank all of you. if you enjoy it today's program, we hope you will keep in mind today's speakers as you plan for your programs for 2013 and 2014. also keep in mind our work in design and production. that you very much, and have a great day.
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thank you. >> back on capitol hill, the house has finished up its work. the 2014 budget plan. they also passed continuing resolution. the senate is debating the 2014 budget proposal over there. debate continues with a series of amendment votes on friday. all of the senate on c-span2. >> we can take pictures of the brain with stands and see the whole thing. there is this enormous gap in between, about how the circuits in the brain function in order to be able to move my hand or to
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look at you in the -- and process that information or to lay down a memory. we do not know how that works. with technology, a lot of this is gone to the technology development, and nano technology. we want to be able to record from thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of brain cells at the same time and be able to understand how these circuits work. that is the brain activity map that is being talked about. we did not have a plan yet about milestones and timetables and costs, but it is getting to be an exciting moment to put something together that we could not have thought about. francis collins, center night -- sunday night at 8:00. in the president's speech, he
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reaffirmed his commitment to its in the peace process. >> part of the reason i like talking to young people, the latter -- no matter how big a challenge, their ambition always gives me hope. [applause] see the same spirit in the young people here today. i believe you will shape our future, and given the ties between our countries, i believe your future is bound to hours. [indiscernible] no, no. [indiscernible]
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this is part of a lively debate that we talked about. this is good. the -- -- know, you know, i have to say we arrange for that because it made me feel at home. [laughter] ifould not feel comfortable i did not have at least one heckler. we will bring you the entire
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speech in just over half an earlier today, the president met with mahmoud abbas who held a joint press conference in which both leaders stressed the importance of direct talks between israel and palestinian people and the need for a comprehensive two-state solution. they spoke for just over half an hour. >> in the name of god and the compassionate. the president barack obama, i wish to warmly welcome you and
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the company. mr. president, viewing your visit to our country, you will meet people proud of the history, heritage, and culture. young entrepreneural people who and continue the an sayser thes extending over the ancient times. people who adhere to the rights and keep abreast of the realities and the age, the language and meth. a model despite all hardships and hurdles.
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the people of palestinian who will see you today, aspire to have the right for freedom, independence and peace. and look forward to that day in which they exercise normal and natch life over the land of the state of palestinian, the independent state of palestine. the lady of the cities of pakistan along the state of israel. we, mr. president, believe that peace is necessary and we also believe that it is possible. we believe that peacemaking and as much as courage. also, requires an expression of
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good taste and cognition of people's rights. rftful to others and this culture of peace and commitment to international -- certainly it is not made through violence, , and demand of receive few by rights. pleasured to ly receive you in our country. with you personally the belief in the values and principles of freedom, equality, justice, and rftful human rights and we the people of the world are partners in to achieve peace that ends occupation and war and achieves
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stability and prosperity of all the people of our region. today, ladies and gentlemen, we have found good and useful round of talks with president obama. e focused on the risks and the disasters risks that the continuation of activity presents on the solution and over the needs. i assert that the president that satisfying long and additional steps for the making peace. i assert that we are are ready to implement of all commitments and obligations and to respect the agreements and international resolutions in other words to
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provide for the -- in order to provide for the resolutions also ending in the division and achieve the palestinian, which constitutes an additional source of public for us. to help our march in making peace in the region. i have renewed confidence that the united states presented by president obama and mr. john [inaud -- ove -- [indissirnible] i for the u.s. commitments to provide support to the palestine for the d to thank him
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support that has been provided for the past years, varies forms of support to the palestines and the development projects. mr. president, once again, you are welcome in palestine. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, president abbas for your generous words and welcoming me here. i was here five grires and it is a pleasure to be back. to see the progress that has occurred since my last visit but to see the peace that so many palestinians seek. i return to the west bank because the united states is
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committed to an independent and sovereign state of palestine. the palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it. palestinians deserve to move and travel freely and to feel secure in their communities. palestinians deserve a future of home, that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and they can give their children of a life of dignity and opportunity. put simply, palestinians deserve a state of their own. i want to commend president abbas and his prime minister for the progress they have made in building the institutions of a palestinian state. the united states is a proud partner in these efforts as the single largest donor of assistance that improves the
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lifes of palestinians in the west bank and gaza. as a partner we salute your achievements and we mourn your losses. we offer condolences over the tragic accident last weekend in jordan. it is a different city than the one i visited five years ago. there are new construction, new businesses, new startups. the palestine authority is more efficient and more transparent. there are new efforts to combat corruptions so entrepreneurs can expand. palestinian security forces are stronger serving communities like bethlehem where we will visit tomorrow. the progress has been achieved under extremely challenging circumstancess.
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their to commend them for courage and for them building institutions on lasting peace that it will depend. all of this stands in stark contrast to the mizry and depression that so many palestinians continue to front in gaza. because hamas refuses to renounce their battles. too often it focuses on tearing israel down rather than building palestine down. we saw rockets overnight. we condemn this violation of the ceasefire that protects israelis and palestinians. here in the west bank, i realize
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this continues to be a difficult time for the palestinian authority financially. i'm pleased that the united states has been able to provide additional assistance to help the palestinian authority bolster its finances. projects will help strengthen governments, rule of law, education, and health. we consider these to be investments in a future palestinian state. investments in peace, which is in all of our interests. discussions in our that we are -- the united states and the world. we seek an independent, viable palestinian state as the homeland of the palestinian people. alongside the jewish state of israel. two nations enjoying
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self-determination, security, and peace. as i've said many time, the only way to achieve that goal is through direct negotiations between israelis and palestinians themselves. there is no short cut to a sustainable solution. in ours discussion with president abbas, i heard him speak about the differently issues that cannot be ignored. among them, problems caused by setsdzlement activity, access to wholly sites in jerusalem. i understand the status quo isn't a status quo because the situation on the ground evolves in a direction that makes it harder to reach a two state solution. i know the palestinian people are deeply frustrated. one of my main messages today, the same i'm conveying in israel
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, we cannot give up. we can't give up on the search for peace, no matter how hard it is. as i said with prime minister netanyahu yesterday, we will continue to look for steps that israel and palestinians can take to build the trust on which lasting peace can depend. i very much appreciate hearing president abbas' ideas on what those steps could be. as difficult as the current situation is my administration is committed in doing our part. i know that secretary of state john kerry intends to spend significant time, effort, and energy into try to bring about a closing of the gap between the parties. we cannot give up on the search for peace. oo much is at stake. and if we're going to success, part of what we're going to do
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is get out of some of the formulas and habits that have blocked progress for so long. both sides have to think anew. those of us in the united states have to think anew. but i'm confident that we can arrive in our destination to advance the vision of two nation, two neighbors at peace israel and palestine. if given the chance, one thing i'm certain of is the palestinians have the talent, drive, and the courage to succeeded in their own state. i think scrimmages to hold peaceful protests because they understand the force of nonviolence. i think of the importance that palestinian families place on education. i of the the entrepreneurs determined to create something new like the young palestinian woman i met at the summit that i
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hosted that wants to build recreational facilities for the youth. that is why i'm looking forward to visitting with some of them after we conclude this press conference. that's why we can't give up. because of young palestinians and young israelis who deserve a better future than one that is -- nuingly defined by continually defined by conflict. when i meet these young people whether they are palestinian or israeli, i am reminded of my own daughters. i know what hopes and spirations iffer for them. -- i have for them. there was a time when my daughters could not expect to have the same opportunities in their own country as somebody else' daughters.
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what is true in the united states can be true here as well. we can make those change but we have to be determined, we have to have courage, we have to be willing to break out of the old habits, the old arguments. to reach for that new place, that new world. i want all the people here and throughout the region to know that you will have the president of the united states and the administration committed to achieving that goal. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you, president obama. thank you, president abbas. we will open the floor to questions. first question. >> mr. president, after you met the leader from both sides is there any chance for these talks as soon as possible and do you hink that a two state solution
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freezing of the the activity with prime minister netanyahu when you met with him? >> based on the conversations i've had with president netanyahu and president abbas, i do believe there is the possibility for a two state solution. i continue to believe it is our best and indeed in some ways our only chance to achieve the only chance to achieve the kind of peaceful resolution of old conflicts but the opening up of new opportunity for people on both sides to thrive, to success, for both israel and a state of palestine to be incorporated into the global economy. one of the striking thing, one
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of the ironies of this conflict is both israeli and the palestinian people are extremely entrepreneural. they have a keen business sense. think can be hugely successful in helping to lift up the conomy as a whole. was with president perez before i came here looking at a high-tech exhibit that was taking place in jerusalem and there was actually a program that a u.s. company, cisco, set p where they were hiring young engineers because they were so well qualified, so talented, and there is a great hunger for those kinds of skills. imagine if you have a strong, independent state that is peaceful. all the talent that is currently
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being untapped that could create jobs, businesses, and prosperity throughout this area. i absolutely belief it is still possible. but i think it is very difficult. i think it is difficult because all sorts of political constraints on both sides. i think it is difficult, frankly, because sometimes we know what compromises have to be made in other words to achieve -- in order achieve peace it is hard to admit those compromises have to be made. because people want to cling on to their old positions and want to have 100% of what they want or 95% of what they want instead of making the necessary compromises. as a politician, i can say, it is hard for political leaders to et too far ahead of your constituencies.
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that is true for president netanyahu and it is probably true for president abbas as well. if we can get direct negotiations started again, i believe the shape of a potential deal is there. and if both sides can make that leap together, not only do i believe that the israeli people and the palestinian people will ultimately support it in huge numbers but i also think the world and the region would cheer. there would be some who are upset because they benefit from the current conflict. they like the status quo, they like the arrangement as it is. i think the majorities out there who don't feel helpful but still would strongly support both
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palestinian and israeli leadership that made the necessary effort and compromises for peace. now, one of the challenges, i know has been continued, settlement activity in the west bank area. i've been clear with prime minister netanyahu and other israeli leadership, it is the united states' policy not just from my administration but all proceeding administrations that do not consider continued settlement activity to be constructive, to be appropriate, to be something that can advance the cause of peaces. i don't think there is any confusion on what our position
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is. i will say, with respect israel that the politics there are complex and i recognize that is not an issue that is going to be solved immediately. it is not going be solved overnight. on the other hand, what i shared with president abbas and what i will share with the palestinian eople is if the expectation is we can only have direct negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time then there is no point for negotiations. i think it is important for us to work through this process, even if there are irritants on both sides. the israels have concern about rockets flying in their cities last night. and it would be easy for them to say why we can't have peace because, you know, we can't
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afford to have our kids in beds sleeping and suddenly a rocket comes through roof. my argument is, even though both sides have areas of strong disagreement, maybe engaging in activities that the other side considers a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement. if we get an agreement, then it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is. there will be a sovereign palestinian state, a jewish state of israel. those two states will, i think will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. the united states and canada has arguements once a while but they are not arguments that can't be
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solved diplomatically. i think we can push through some of these problems and make sure we don't use them as an excuse not to do anything. >> our second question comes from the u.s. delegation and it will be the last question. >> mr. president, president abbas. on behalf of my colleagues i want to get more specific on the settlements and the peace process. mr. president, when you started your administration you called for a halt and it held for a while then dissipated. then late last year israel announced activity that you put out a statement that people thought were nonresponsive. what would you say here, to those entrepreneural palestinians that you referenced who believe you have been equivocal or nonresponsive?
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do you believe it is necessary r the peace process to start from the israel government that they will slow down or stop activity. historically the theory has been nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. are you open to a theory this would say if things are agreed to they shall be implemented to build confidence on both sides to restart the peace process. thank you. >> major, i think i answered the question previously about settlements, you mentioned e1 in particular. a hink that is an example of public statement by the israel government that would be difficult to square with a two-state solution. i said that to prime minister
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netanyahu. i don't think that is a secret. with respect to whether there is a requirement for a freeze or moratorium, i want to repeat what i just said earlier, which is if if the only way to begin the conversations is that we get everything right at the outset. or there's each party is constantly negotiating about to get into talks in the first place. then we're never going to get to the broader issue, which is how do you structure a state of palestine that is sovereign and provides the palestinian people dignity and how do you provide israel confidence about its security? which those are the core issues. the core issue right now is how
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do we get sovereignty for the palestinian people and how do we ensure security for the israeli people. that is the essence of the negotiations. that is not to say that settlements are not important. it is to say that if we solve those two problems the settlement problem will be solved. doing want to put the cart before the horse. i want to make sure we're getting to the core issues and the substance, understanding that both sides should be doing what they can to build confidence, rebuild a sense of trust, and that is where, hopefully, the u.s. government can be helpful. i think thatpoint, part of my goal during this trip has been to hear from both
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president abbas and prime minister netanyahu about what they would need and how they would see a potential path, how it will be structured. i think it is premature for me to give you an answer to the question that you just posed. i think it is a good one, i think it is a legitimate one, but i'm still hearing from them. and me, secretary kerry, and others we're going to go back and look at what we've heard from both sides and make a determination as to what has the best prospect for success. i think, this, that incremental steps that serve to delay and put off some of the more fundamental issues rather than incremental steps that help a final step
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might look like. probably won't be the boast approach. it is notter clear that will build trust. if you have a situation that the incremental steps replace the broader vision versus incremental steps in pursuit of a broader vision. you get four more years, 10 more years, 20 more years of conflict and tension in which both sides are, youb, testing the boundaries of those incremental agreements. where as if we can get a brood based agreement that assures the palestinians they have a safe and you have a comprehensive approach that assures israel the
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security they need the likelihood of that deal holding and ultimate the sebs of trust peoplemes from people to agreement that is more likely to come. >> regarding the issue of setslements, it is not only our perception that that settlements are illegal but it is a noble comprehensive. verybody considers settlements a borden towards a solution. we mention that the security uncil had issues more than
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resolutions. not only com deming settlements but demanding and ending them because they are illegal. we're asking for nothing outside the framework of international policy. it is the duty of the israeli government to halt the activity so we can speak of these issues. when we define our borders and their borders together each side will know in which they can do whatever it appease. we never gave up our vision whether now our people can see but we continue to make decisions as we believe that settlements are illegal and that settlement activities are
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illegal. we hope that the dreamly government understands this. we hope they listen to many opinions inside israeli government speakinging of the illegality of settlements. and how poke with this we can reach a solution. theypalestinians with when see settlements everywhere in the west bank and i don't know who gave israel that right. they do not trust the two-state solution or vision anymore and this is dangerous. the new generation reachings the conviction that there is no more possible to believe in the two-state solution. we continue to believe in the wo-state solution.
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if peace between us and israelis is achieved, the israelis will know that the arab and the islamic world shall immediately recognize the state of israel affording to the road map and thank you. >> following his press conference president obama traveled to jerusalem where he told israeli student that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to peace. he also discussed the country's security concerns on the world of peace. [applause]
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>> thank you so much. thank you very much. everyone please have a seat. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. well, it is a great honor to be with you here in jerusalem. i'm so grateful for the welcome that i've received from the people of israel. [applause] i bring with me the support of the american people. [applause] and the friendship that binds us together. [applause] you know, over the last two days i have reaffirmed the bonds between our countries between prime minister netanyahu and president perez. to the jewish
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people and the shrine of the book. i've seen your scientists and your entrepreneurs. this ask a nation of museums, paten, timeless wholly sites, ground-breaking innovation. only in israel can you see the scrolls and the place where the technology on bored the mars rover originated at the same time. [applause] but what i've most looked forward to is the ability to speak directly to you, the israeli people, especially so many young people that are here today. [applause] to talk about the history that brought us here today and the future that you will make in the years to come.
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now, i know that in israel's vibrant democracy every word and every gesture is carefully scrutinized. [laughter] but i want to clear something up just so you know any drama between me and my friend was a .lot to create material that was the only thing going on. [applause] we just wanted to make sure the writers had good material. [laughter] i also know that i come to israel on the eve of a sacred holiday, the celebration of passover. that is write would like to begin today. just a few days from now, jews here in israel and around the world will sit with family and
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friends at the table and elebrate with songs, wine, and symbolic foods. after enjoying it with family and friends in chicago on the campaign trail i'm proud that i brought this tradition in the white house. i did so -- [applause] i did so because i wanted my daughters to experience it. the story at the center of passover that makes this time of year so powerful. it is a story of centuries of slavery and years of wandering in the desert. amidst f perseverance persecution and the faith of god and the tora. the story about finding freedom in your own land. for the jewish people this story
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is central to who you've become. but it also a story that holds within it the universal human experience with all of its suffering and all of its salvation. great part of the three religious, judaism, christianty, and as lamic. it is a story of that has inspired communities across the globe, including me and my fellow americans. in the united states, a nation made up of people who crossed oceans to start anew were drawn to the idea of finding freedom in our land. to african americans, the story was perhaps the central story, the most powerful image about emerging from the grip of bondage to reach for liberty and
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human dignity. a tale that was carried from slavery and the civil rights movement into today. for generations that helped people persevere and holding on to hope that a better day was on the horizon. for me personally, growing up in different parts of the world and ithout firm roots, the story spoke for a urining for every human being for home. [applause] of course, even as we draw strength from the story of god's will and the gift of freedom expressed on passover, we also know that here on earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. that means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle. just like previous generations
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have. it means us working through generation after generation on behalf of that ideal of freedom. as dr. martin luther king said on the day before he was killed "i may not get there with you, but i want you to know we as a people will get to the promise land." [applause] so just as joshua carried on after mow says the work goes -- moses the work goes on for all of you for justice, opportunity, for freedom. for the jewish people the journey of the promise of the the state of israel wound through countless generations, suffering, sense of
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prejudice and even genocides. throw it all the jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions as well as the longing to return home. while jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world the drew of true freedom found its truex presentation to be a free neem your home land. -- free people in your home land. the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own. [applause] over the last 65 years, when israel has been at its best, israelis have demonstrated that responsibility does not end when
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you reach the promise land, it only gibbs. -- begins. [applause] israel has built a prosperous nation through what made the desert bloom, business that middle class to entrepreneurs. israel has established a thriving democracy with a spirited society and proud political parties and a tiredless free press and a lively public debate. lively might be an understatement. [applause]
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israel has achieved all of this even as it has overcome relentless threats of its security, through the courage of the israel defense forces and the citizens are so resilient in the face of terror. this is the story of israel. this is the work that has brought the dreams of so many generations to life and every step of the way israel has built unbreakable bonds of friendship with my country, the united states of america. [applause] those ties began only 11 minutes after israel independence when the united states was the first nation to recognize the state of israel. [applause] as president truman said in explaining his decision to recognize israel, he said, i
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believe it has a glorious future before it, not just as another sovereign nation but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization. since then we built a friendship that advances our shared interests. together we share a commitment to security four citizens and the stabe ability of the middle east and north africa. together we share a focus on convincing growth around the global and strengthening the middle class within our own countries. together, we share a stake in the success of democracy. but the source of our friendship extends beyond mere interests transcended political parties and leaders. america is a nation of immigrants. america is enriched by faith. we're governed not just by men
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rein women but by laws. we're fueled by entrepreneuralship and we're defined by a democratic discourse that we're renewing our union once more. so in israel we see values that we share. even if we recognize what makes us different. that is an essential part of our bond. now, i stand here today mindful for both our nations these are complicated times. we have difficult issues to work through within our own countries and we face dangers and upheaval around the world. hen i looked at young people within the united states, i think of the choices they must make to define who will be a nation in the 21st century.
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as we emerge from two wars and the worst recession since the great depression. part of the reason i like talking to young people because no matter how great the challenges are, their idealism, their energy, their am wigs always gives me -- ambition always gives me hope. [applause] i see the same spirit in the young people here today. [applause] i believe that you will shape our future and given the ties between our countries, i believe our future is bound to ours. udience: booing. >> this is part of the lively
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debate that we talked about. this is good. [applause] you know -- [applause] you know, i have to say we arranged for that because it made me feel at home. [laughter] i wouldn't feel comfort if i don't have at least one heckler. [laughter] i would like to focus how we -- when i say we, young people in
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particular can work together to make progress in three areas that will define our times. security, peace, and prosperity. [applause] let me begin with security. i'm proud that the security relationship between the united states and israel has never been stronger. [applause] never. more exercises between our militaries, more exchanges among our political and tedget officials than ever -- intelligent before. these are the facts, these are not my opinions. these are facts. but to me this is not simply measured on a balance sheet.
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i know that here in israel security is something personal. here's what i think about when i consider these issues. when i consider israel'ses security, i think about children like one of them that i met. [applause] children the same age as my own daughters who went to bed at night fearful that a rocket will land in their bedroom because who they are and where they live. [applause] that reality is why we've invest inside the iron dome system to save countless lives because those children deserve to sleep better at night. [applause] that's why we made it clear time and again, israel cannot accept rocket attacks from gaza and
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we've stood up for israel's right to defend itself. [applause] that's why israel has a right to expect hasmas to renounce violence and recognize israel's right to exist. [applause] when i think about israel's security, i think about five israelis who are bordered a bus but were blown up because of where they came from. they were robbed of the ability to live, love, and raise families. hat's why every country that loves their people should call it what it is, a terrorist organization. [applause] because the world cannot
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tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot at cities and is murdering women and children in syria right now. [applause] e fact that hezbollah's ally assad's regime has sock piled rockets, we will guard against that. i made it clear to assad and all that follow his orders, we will chemicalate the use of weapons or the transfer of those weapons. the world is watching and we will hold you accountable. [applause] the syrian people have the right to be free from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill s own people than relinquish
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power. assad must go so a serious future can begin. because true stability in syria depends on establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders while making peace with countries beyond them. that this is what i think about when i think about israel's security. when i think about israel's security i also think about the people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with a government that is called for iran's disruption. no wound their israel views this as a threat. this is not simply a challenge for israel but it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. [applause] a nuclear-armed iran will raise
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the risk of terrorism, it will spark an arms race in a volatile region and it will embolden a government that shows no respect for the rights of its own people or the responsibilities of nations. that's why america has built a coalition to increase the cost of iran failing to meet its obligation. iran is under more pressure than ever before, it is isolated, the economy is in dire straits and the leadership is divided. the position in the regin and the world has -- region in the world has only grown weaker. i do believe that all of us have an interest in resolving this issue peacefully. diplomacy rinciple -- [applause] strong and principle diplomacy
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is the best way to make sure the iranian government for sakes nuclear weapons. [applause] peace is far more preferable toward. the consequences that would come with war means that we have to do everything we can to try to resolve this diplomatically. because of the coorp operation between our governments we know between coor operation our governments. with the sense of urgency that is required. but iran must know this time is not unlimited. i made the position of the united states of america clear, iran must not get a nuclear weapon. this is not a danger that can be contained. as president i said all options
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are on the table for achieving our objective. america will do what it must to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. [applause] for young dreamlies, i know these issues are rooted in an experience that are more fundamental than the threat of the day. you live in a neighborhood where many of your neighbors have rejected the right of your nation to exist. -- grand parents had to risk their lives. your parents lived through war after war to ensure the survival of the state. your children grow up knowing that people they never met may
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hate them in a region that is full of turmoil and changing underneath your feet. that is when i think about when israel is faced with these challenges. that sense of an israel that is surrounded by many people who reject it and many in the world that refuse to accept it. that is why the security in israel is so important, it cannot be taken for granted. make no mistake, those who adhere to the ideology for dream to exist, they might as well reject the idea of the sky above or the earth beneath them because israel is not going anywhere. [applause]
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today i want to tell you, particularly the young people, so there is no mistake here. as long as there is a united ates of america [speaking in foreign language] you are not alone. [applause] what kind of s, future israel will look forward to. israel is not going anywhere but especially for the young people in this audience, the question
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is, what does its futures hold? that brings me to the subject of peace. [applause] i know israel has taken risk for peace. brave leaders reach treaties with two of your neighbors. you make credible proposals to the palestinians, you with drew from gaza and lebanon and then faced terror. across the region, you've extenled a hand in friendship and all too often you've been con fronted with rejection and in some cases the ugly reality of antisemitism. i believe that the israeli
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ople do want peace, i also understand why too many israelis, maybe an increasing number maybe a lot of young people here today are skept kill it can be achieved. today israel is at a crossroads. it can be temping to put aside the frustrations and sacrifices that come with the pursuit of peace, particularly when iron dome repels rockets, barriers keep out suicide bombers. there are so many pressing issues that demand your attention. i know that only israelis can make the fundamental decision about the cub's future. i recognize that. not everyone in this hall will agree what w what i say about
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peace. i recognize there are those that are not just skeptical about peace but about their promise, has a different vision for israel's future. that is part of democracy. i recognize that. i also believe it is important to be open and honest, especially with your friends. [applause] i also believe that. you know politically given the strong bipartisan support for israel in america, the easiest thing for me to do would be to just s issue aside, express unconditional support for whatever israel decides to do. that is the easiest political path. i want you to know that i speak to you as a friend who is deeply
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concerned about your future. i ask you to consider three points. first, peace is necessary. [applause] believe that. i believe that peace is the only path to true security. you can be -- [applause] you have the opportunity to be the generation that permanently or you can face the future. given the temperature graphsics west of the jordan river, the only way for israel to endure and thrive as a jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable palestine. that is true. [applause]
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there are other factors in involved given the frustration in the international community about this conflict. israel needs to reverse an under tone of isolation. the only way to truly protect the israeli people is through the absence of war. no iron dome is strong enough or perfect enough to stop every enemy that is intend on doing so from inflicting harm.
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and this truth is more pronounced given the changes sweeping the arab world. i understand that with the uncertainty in the region -- people in the streets, changes in leadership, the rise of non- secular parties in politics -- it's tempting to turn inward, because the situation outside of israel seems so chaotic. timehis is precisely the to respond to the wave of revolution with a resolve and commitment for peace. governmentsore respond to popular will, the days when israel could seek peace simply with a handful of autocratic leaders, those days are over. peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments. no one -- no single step can
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change overnight what lies in the hearts and minds of millions. no single step is going to erase years of history and propaganda. but progress with the palestinians is a powerful way to begin, while sidelining extremists who thrive on conflict and thrive on division. it would make a difference. so peace is necessary. but peace is also just. peace is also just. there is no question that has faced palestinian factions who turned to terror, leaders who missed historic opportunities. that is all true.
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and that's why security must be at the center of any agreement. and there is no question that the only path to peace is through negotiations -- which is why, despite the criticism we've received, the united states will oppose unilateral efforts to bypass negotiations through the united nations. it has to be done by the parties. but the palestinian people's right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized. put yourself in their shoes. look at the world through their eyes. it is not fair that a
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palestinian child cannot grow in a state of their own. living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. it's not just when settler violence against palestinians goes unpunished. it's not right to prevent palestinians from farming their lands, or restricting a student's ability to move around the west bank, or displace palestinian families from their homes. neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.
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just as israelis built a state in their homeland, palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land. i'm going off script here for a second, but before i came here, i met with a group of young palestinians from the age of 15 to 22. and talking to them, they weren't that different from my daughters. they weren't that different from your daughters or sons. i honestly believe that if any israeli parent sat down with
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those kids, they'd say, i want these kids to succeed, i want them to prosper. i want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. i believe that's what israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to listen to them and talk to them. i believe that. [applause] now, only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have. but remember that as you make these decisions, you will define not simply the future of your relationship with the palestinians -- you will define the future of israel as well.
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as ariel sharon said -- i'm quoting him -- "it is impossible to have a jewish democratic state, at the same time to control all of eretz israel. if we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all." [applause] or, from a different perspective, i think of what the novelist david grossman said shortly after losing his son, as he described the necessity of peace -- "a peace of no choice" he said, "must be approached with the same determination and creativity as one approaches a war of no choice."
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now, israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to its destruction. but while i know you have had differences with the palestinian authority, i genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in president abbas and prime minister fayyad. i believe that. and they have a track record to prove it. over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the west bank in ways that few could have imagined just a few years ago. so many palestinians -- including young people -- have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.
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there is an opportunity there, there's a window -- which brings me to my third point -- peace is possible. it is possible. i'm not saying it's guaranteed. i can't even say that it is more likely than not. but it is possible. i know it doesn't seem that way. there are always going to be reasons to avoid risk. there are costs for failure. extremistsalways be who provide an excuse not to act. i know there must be something exhausting about endless talks about talks, and daily controversies, and just the grinding status quo. and i'm sure there's a temptation just to say, "ah, enough. let me focus on my small corner of the world and my family and my job and what i can control." but it's possible.
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necessary,s will be but there's little secret about where they must lead -- two states for two peoples. two states for two peoples. there will be differences about how to get there. there are going to be hard choices along the way. arab states must adapt to a world that has changed. the days when they could condemn israel to distract their people from a lack of opportunity, or government corruption or mismanagement -- those days need to be over. now is the time for the arab world to take steps toward normalizing relations with israel. meanwhile, palestinians must recognize that israel will be a
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jewish state and that israelis have the right to insist upon their security. israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent palestine must be viable with real borders that have to be drawn. [applause] i've suggested principles on territory and security that i believe can be the basis for these talks. but for the moment, put aside the plans and the process. i ask you, instead, to think about what can be done to build trust between people. four years ago, i stood in cairo in front of an audience of young people -- politically,
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religiously, they must seem a world away. but the things they want, they're not so different from what the young people here want. they want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education, get a good job, to worship god in their own way, to get married, to raise a family. the same is true of those young palestinians that i met with this morning. the same is true for young palestinians who yearn for a better life in gaza. that's where peace begins -- not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of people. not just in some carefully designed process, but in the daily connections -- that sense of empathy that takes place among those who live together in this land and in this sacred city of jerusalem. and let me say this as a politician -- i can promise you this, political leaders will never take risks if the people
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do not push them to take some risks. you must create the change that you want to see. accomplishople can extraordinary things. i know this is possible. look to the bridges being built in business and civil society by some of you here today. look at the young people who've not yet learned a reason to mistrust, or those young people who've learned to overcome a legacy of mistrust that they inherited from their parents, because they simply recognize that we hold more hopes in common than fears that drive us apart. your voices must be louder than those who would drown out hope. way hopes must light the forward. look to a future in which jews and muslims and christians can all live in peace and greater
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prosperity in this holy land. believe in that. and most of all, look to the future that you want for your own children -- a future in which a jewish, democratic, vibrant state is protected and accepted for this time and for all time. there will be many who say this change is not possible, but remember this -- israel is the most powerful country in this region. israel has the unshakeable support of the most powerful country in the world. israel is not going anywhere. israel has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but -- this is in your nature -- israel also has the courage to see the world as it should be.
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ben gurion once said, "in israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles." sometimes, the greatest miracle is recognizing that the world can change. that's a lesson that the world has learned from the jewish people. and that brings me to the final area that i'll focus on -- prosperity, and israel's broader role in the world. i know that all the talk about security and peace can sometimes seem to dominate the headlines, but that's not where people live. and every day, even amidst the threats that you face, israelis are defining themselves by the opportunities that you're creating. through talent and hard work,
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israelis have put this small country at the forefront of the global economy. israelis understand the value of education and have produced 10 nobel laureates. israelis understand the power of invention, and your universities educate engineers and inventors. and that spirit has led to economic growth and human progress -- solar power and electric cars, bandages and prosthetic limbs that save lives, stem cell research and new drugs that treat disease, cell phones and computer technology that changed the way people around the world live. so if people want to see the future of the world economy, they should look at tel aviv, home to hundreds of start-ups and research centers.
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israelis are so active on social media that every day seemed to bring a different facebook campaign about where i should give this speech. that innovation is just as important to the relationship between the united states and israel as our security cooperation. our first free trade agreement in the world was reached with israel, nearly three decades ago. twoy the trade between our countries is at $40 billion every year. more importantly, that partnership is creating new products and medical treatments, it's pushing new frontiers of science and exploration. that's the kind of relationship that israel should have -- and could have -- with every country in the world.
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already, we see how that innovation could reshape this region. there's a program here in jerusalem that brings together young israelis and palestinians to learn vital skills in technology and business. an israeli and palestinian have started a venture capital fund to finance palestinian start- ups. over 100 high-tech companies have found a home on the west bank -- which speaks to the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the palestinian people. one of the great ironies of what's happening in the broader region is that so much of what people are yearning for -- education, entrepreneurship, the ability to start a business without paying a bribe, the ability to connect to the global economy -- those are things that can be found here in israel. this should be a hub for thriving regional trade, and an engine for opportunity.
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israel is already a center for innovation that helps power the global economy. and i believe that all of that potential for prosperity can be enhanced with greater security, enhanced with lasting peace. here, in this small strip of land that has been the center of so much of the world's history, so much triumph and so much tragedy, israelis have built something that few could have imagined 65 years ago. tomorrow, i will pay tribute to that history -- at the grave of herzl, a man who had the foresight to see the future of the jewish people had to be reconnected to their past, at the grave of rabin, who understood that israel's victories in war had to be
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followed by the battles for peace, at yad vashem, where the world is reminded of the cloud of evil that can descend on the jewish people and all of humanity if we ever fail to be vigilant. we bear all that history on our shoulders. we carry all that history in our hearts. twilight we face the of israel's founding generation, you -- the young people of israel -- must now claim its future. it falls to you to write the next chapter in the great story of this great nation. ad as the president of country that you can count on as your greatest friend -- i am confident that you can help us find the promise in the days that lie ahead.
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and as a man who's been inspired in my own life by that timeless calling within the jewish experience -- tikkun olam -- i am hopeful that we can draw upon what's best in ourselves to meet the challenges that will come, to win the battles for peace in the wake of so much war, and to world. that's your job. that's my job. that's the task of all of us. may god bless you. may god bless israel. may god bless the united states of america. toda raba. thank you. >> president obama from earlier today. a joint news conference
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tomorrow. this past week marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the iraq war, and tonight we will 19, you remarks from march 2003, as operations began in iraq. he spoke for five minutes that evening. we will show you that at 8:00 evening.s iraq whichthe war in remarks from ryan crocker. this is from the carnegie endowment for international peace. it is an hour and a half. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] good morning. i am the president of the
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carnegie endowment for international peace. it's a pleasure to welcome you today to help us take stock 10 years after the launch a what turned out to be america's scented longest war. it is too soon for history. many of the war cost direct outcomes and most of its indirect consequences are both at home and in the region are still unfolding. one can certainly see the facts of the iraq war in our current agonized effort to try to decide what to do about syria, both in terms of public opinion and policy makers' thinking. but if journalism is the first draft of history, then 10 years is certainly time enough to step back and reevaluate and perhaps a time for a good third draft.
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we cannot trace all the defense, all the issues, and the impacts of the war today. we will not do justice for example to a critical set of questions about how we got into the war, and there is a good deal of revisionist history that has been going around this week on that topic. this is i think critical for understanding what happened and why it happened and the central to understanding to avoiding a repetition. it we will not try to treat in detail the impact of the war on .he lives of individual iraqis but we are going to cover a lot of territory, and what for us seemed to be the critical three sets of questions. choosing those, we have one eye
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on the past and one that is very firmly set on the future. we are asking first what is the state of iraq today, how far towards the u.s.' original all of and functioning democracy has it come, and what is the outlook for this country in the region, for its neighbors, and that will be the subject of our first panel. we are then going to look at the economic costs of the war. you may remember the president was's economic adviser fired for predicting that the war might cost $100 billion to $200 billion. he was off by a factor of 10, and as we are going to hear and our second panel, made much more than that. asklly, we are going to from the u.s. point of view,
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what are the geopolitical and military and strategic lessons in so far as we can see them vantages near and far point? what are the take comes from homesconflict -- take- from this conflict? we have assembled a wonderful first panel. i have no question that however much each of us knows about this conflict firsthand and more, looking around this room, there's a huge amount of wisdom here, but i know all of us are going to go home from this a good deal wiser. i thank you for joining us, and i really am thrilled to turn this -- turned over to the moderator of our first panel. everybody in this room and
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watching on television probably is deeply familiar with his work. in years ago, he was covering the beginning of the war from kuwait city and from baghdad. he later wrote the apparel life in the emerald city, one of the best of many books about the war, and we're very lucky to have him. so the mike is here. >> thank you, and thank you all for coming this morning. to hear what i think is fun to be a fantastic lineup of speakers all day. 10 years ago today, the lead --ory on the front page abov u.s. forces punched into a broad front tonight, using territory along the kuwait border with modern -- moderate resistance.
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a second torrent of u.s. cruise missiles destroyed several buildings in baghdad. two days ago, this is what a colleague wrote -- 10 years after the united states' barreled into iraq, the country is neither the failed state that seemed all but inevitable during the darkest days of the war, nor the mobocracy that america set off to form. this a country threatened by local conflicts that could drag it back into a sustained but shed its citizens knows so well. that is what we're here to examine this morning. the 13 months after the last u.s. combat forces the part of the country. what is iraq today? is it on the press as up political dysfunction, another
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civil war? or is it poised to muddle through, killed by oil revenue, competence security forces, and a prime minister who has managed to establish control over a fractious government? or is it all those things? this is not a discussion rooted in the past. e will not relive the wmd questions. we will not dwell on the mistakes of the coalition authority, and we will not debate the surge. we will look at iraq today and where it is headed. a has been little of that in the 10 years media coverage, even though it is a far more relevant question for policy makers and the public today. with that, because you did not come here to hear me today, that we introduce the plan all. you on the who they are. you know their contributions to the efforts to stabilize iraq. to my right is ambassador ryan crocker, who is the kissinger
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senior fellow at the el universal. he has served recently as our ambassador to afghanistan, he is long career included ambassadors for iraq as well as our ambassador to pakistan, syria, kuwait, and lebanon. august of 2003, he served as the government's director for the coalition provisional authority in bag thed, and his career in foreign service included a tour in lebanon at the same time in the early 1980's, at the moment of the it israeli invasion as well as the bombing of the marine barracks. samir right is ambassador
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sumaida'ie. in 2006 he moved here to washington to serve as iraq's ambassador. prior to his appointment to the united nations, the ambassador to serve as the minister of interior in baghdad. before that he was a member of iraq's governing council. he is currently working as a consultant and a writer. a seniorr right, is fellow at the yale jackson institute. she has worked at senior levels on behalf of the united states and united kingdom government and in israel. into this and three, she was the government's director in kirkuk.
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was best known for serving as the political adviser for odi instead of asking our panelists to deliver a long opening statements, i will ask them to be ready to tackle three questions at the outset before we launch into what i hope will be a robust discussion. the three questions which i will address our to talk about the state of correct's domestic politics, iraq must roll in the region come and iraq must relationship with the united states. let's start off with domestic politics. iraq today is a tinderbox with red-hot embers inside, disputes about political power. it seems the government is crumbling. the finance minister will not leave the anbar province for fear of being arrested. another has been boycotting government meetings in the
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capital and remaining in the kurdish-controlled north. and ministers have also to foist that they will boycott the government in recent days. i would like the panel to give their assessment of the domestic situation, and let me start with ambassador crocker. if prime minister maliki turning himself into an autocrat? >> is a great question, and i thought you had a great quotation from the article two days ago. iraq is haunted by its past. past, is haunted by his recent and not so recent, in my view. he came out of a clandestine movement that was severely persecuted under this of dom use. years.saddam that conditions his behavior.
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it is said in iraq by the prime minister that only two men --cessfully covered iraq governed iraq. i do not think maliki is trying to be the next saddam hussein. the politics and conditions in iraq will not permit it. he is afraid he may be the next kassam who overthrew the monarchy in 1958 and who was a pretty able political figure. he was making deals, breaking deals, bestowing a favor, withdrawing favor, but eventually it got away from him. correctly, the best perspective is someone who is playing defense, who is trying to stay in power, who was trying not to go the same way as
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kassam. >> thank you. ambassador, let's talk about sunni politics. there have been large demonstrations. the are the chances that current state of sunni frustration , anger, sense of disenfranchisement will spill into something more violent and destabilizing? >> it is already spilling out into violence trick we hear , ery few days of explosions o acts of terrorism. they're not totally disconnected from the general dissatisfaction of the population, and there is a great deal of dissatisfaction among oust the iraqis about but i want
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to elaborate on that. theback to the mindset of government. it is not shaved only -- i agree totally with ambassador crocker's assessment of the way maliki thinks, but i would like to add to it that iraq is a state -- whoever controls the resources controls the system of builds the power structure. in a state like the united states, the population pays taxes and the government is accountable and that system is not there in iraq. es oil seizesea power. that is a major factor in conditioning the mentality of the group that rules. they put their hand on that and they will not let that go.
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iming back to the sunnis, remember growing up in a country where the sectarian divisions relevant.really we did not who was sunni or shia. a sectarian policies of saddam's heime and the oppression this sense the shia, of being persecuted was strong amongst the snia. the opportunity came, there was a segment, the islamists, who were thinking now, we have got it, we will never let it go. it will be a shia government.
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that put the sunnis a difficult position, and in the early days they brokered the political process. that did not work. they then joined in it. that is not working. now they are caught in a difficult position. they do not want to go to the extreme where al qaeda is because they get themselves where victims of al qaeda. at the same time, they are being marginalized and being treated as second-class citizens. it is very difficult. generalay that therir distraction is a much -- is part of a much wider dissatisfaction. they will feel that there are no services, no security, no progress, no jobs.
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where on earth are we going? the country seems to be in this situation where it is not moving at all. >> fantastic. much to delve into, and the circle back particularly on the allocation of will on revenue of a broader dissatisfaction. tell us about the state of kurdish-era politics at the thatt, all these concerns moves by the kurds enter in selling their oil from the north and or i should use that word carefully there, oil, oil extracted in the northern parts of the country and their efforts to sell that further stoking tensions with the central government. help us understand as well as obviously key unresolved land rights issues of in the north, help us understand where things stand today.
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kurdistan is the success story of iraq. there is much more employment. feele feel happy and they is in better than they have had in the past. at one level this is the kurds' moment. kirguizon's between leaders and -- the relations between the kurds and baghdad have never been so poor. there is an absence of trust among the elites in iraq. this boils down at the moment to personal disputes between the president and maliki. leaders fear that maliki is becoming an autocrat. their sense of history, they are affected by it in the same way that maliki is affected by it create the kurdish sense of history always make them fear
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the central government, and they see the tanks, the f-16's could be used against them, so there is a huge distrust. before it was president talabani who served as the mediator between the president and maliki. is nobody who was brokering that this agreement. there really are substantial issues to be dealt with. the issue of land was supposed to be resolved after the constitution. it has not been resolved. in those disputed areas, if they become part of kurdistan, all this that should have been put in place have not been put in place, whether a sense of referendum, none of that has happened. the kurds are frustrated in thinking that is never going to happen. you also mentioned the oil
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the kurds have been exporting their oil, as you call it, three trucks to turkey, three trucks to iran, and there is talk now about a direct pipeline between turkey and kurdistan. out will been giving contracts to international companies, and some of those contracts have been for building a in disputed territories. the central government is a great concern because they fear that if the kurds can have a direct pipeline with jerkily, that will lead to the breaking off of iraq. months last year and the year before the movements of iraqi security forces facing off against each other in the disputed territories. when u.s. military was there, it served as a mediator between the different forces. now there is no mediator and
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there is concern that it only takes one shot to get the spiral of action. recently, the budget was pushed through parliament without the agreement of the kurds and with many of the iraqi members boycotting it. but that is what has led to the kurdish boycotts of government because they fear that maliki does not want to share power, they now fear they are not equal partners in iraq. we're back at the beginning in 2003 and 2004, where we heard kurdish leaders say now for the first time i feel iraqi. more and more the kurds are becoming autonomous, they are seeking economic independence from baghdad, so they are drifting further and further apart. much there. we could spend the next hour just following up on this stuff.
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i promise we will get back to all of it. i want to talk about iraq in the region and iraq and united states and we will circle back. it's to much concern about the relationship that has been forged over the past several years between baghdad and tehran. ambassador crocker, give us your sense of the true nature of that -- of the air around-iraq and russia today. >> if i could give you an accurate assessment of the true nature of the relationship between iran and iraq today, it would be elevated to a celestial status. which may happen, but it will not happen this morning. [laughter] it is a highly complex relationship. there can be no question that following the withdrawal of all
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and to speakn 2011 frankly i think a waning of u.s. engagement at other levels, it has shifted a balance showed that -- so that iranian influence in iraq is greater than ours is less strict there's no question about that. not buyame time, i do into the tendency in the west and in the united states that iran calls the shots and gives the orders because it is, one, a shia government in tehran, dealing with another shia government in iraq. i think that differences that we often lose sight of between arab
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and persian, the, again, history, history, history, the bloody history between iraq and of 1980's,rutal war which we tend to have forgotten, but no iraqi or iranian ever well, remains fresh in the memories of the questions. iraq is, whether sunni or shia, is profoundly an arab state and for many years was the vanguard of arab nationalism. i think we are going through an interval here wear because a regional or international balance, iran has a disproportionate influence in iraq, but i think the farther they pressed that influence, as i saw during my time there, the
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more iraqis tend to push back and resent it. so i would seek probably a prolonged period where this will play out. iranian coverage is going to produce an iraqi backlash. they will have influence. they will not have control. >> let's talk about syria. there is a tendency here in washington to view malia kate's acquiescence -- maliki's act rants to -- maliki's acquiescence to overflights because of pressure. maliki has his own reasons for in power.o have assad is a kinship between shia and a concern that if
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his government is toppled it puts pressure on sectarian tensions within their record to help us understand why the maliki government is taking the position it is, regarding the conflict in syria. youen you look at -- >> look for simple explanations, it is tempo. jihadis rnational entered iraq and committed acts. --ther they tessellated whether they facilitated or not, they did not stop it. in 2009 after a particular set of horrific bombings, m aliki wanted to take them to a criminal court. rushing,like some's
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when people see an uprising in spirit, it looks like iraq in 1990, 1991. how did this come about? it is simplistic to say that -- more the issue is maliki and shia is a must see the threat facing them in the same way that iran sees the threat, and by the threats come i mean this fear of the sunni regime's getting together, coming together to overthrow the shia regime of assad and then overthrowing the shia regime in baghdad. is this fear of the alternative. is on ther isassad turn, that people will come to branchf the most salafi
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of the opposition, and that is propagated through the media, in dialogue between people. the relationship between the syria and iraq is very complex because of the different communities inside of iraq have to relations with syria. when robert ford was -- yesterday when robert ford went testify, he testified about how the iraqi government was not preventing weapons from iran reaching syria. he also described how shia extremists were inside syria fighting on behalf of the regime, and there are also of sunnis fighting in syria, and going back and forth, and also kurds inside syria see an opportunity, and there is fear that if assad
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goes, kurds will become more empowered, and how will that affect kurds inside iraq. they are all interconnected. at thelooking interconnections, let's branched out a little more and look at iraq more broadly in the arab world. ambassador, we are more than a year on from the start of the arabs spring. a large border with iran, but also the border is jordan, saudi arabia, kuwait is a player. help us understand how the maliki government sees its relationship with the broader arab world at the moment and neighbors, beyond iran
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and syria, which we have talked about, view iraq today. days ofin 2003, in the the firstning council, received fromion outside iraq was not from an arab country, it was from iraq. there was a kind of denial amongst the arabs that what the americans did did actually take place. in the gulfters region, there is a kind of and that played into the situation, particularly exasperated by the facts that shia political
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parties themselves looked at this as an opportunity to seize power in iraq, as shia, not iraqi. there is fear on both sides feeding on each other. the iranians proved to be very adept, and they moves swiftly. they utilized their investment in theyshia islamist artist who were nurtured in iran during period m -- the saddam and bill close relations with the leaders of the islamic republic. they never looked back from there. coming back to the arabs, the more they see of this, the more strange -- estranged they become from the new in iraq. asq has traditionally been
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he correctly said, ambassador, an arab country in its identity, as it looks at its self, but a country with a proud american history. there is another layer now, a layer of sectarianism, which has been struggling with a layer of nationalism. there is one symptom, but at the political level, at the leaders of the islamic parties, there is a different kind of -- and therefore, as we progress from 2003 into the turbulent years of 2006, 2007, the arab press the other arab countries started to point out chaos, failure, all
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because of the iranians, and the american mismanagement, and we never seemed -- and it was very hard to get iraq back into its other -- arab niche. we got iraq into the arab league, but it remains a work in progress. it is never really integrated back. that is where things stand. there is a recognition that iraq should be part of the arab fold, but there is any hesitation between that sense and the sense that iraq is close to iran at the moment and that iranian influence is very apparent at and micro levels. >> fantastic. .o much to bore into
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would like to talk about the state of the u.s.-iraq relations, and we will tell in the conversation on all this stuff. months since our forces drove out of the country. there is a large diplomatic presence there. we still have some military personnel doing some arms sales and training their and our intelligence community as individuals on the ground. from yourderstand perspective iraq-u.s. relations today, and i would like to start out, if you might offer some thoughts, if the sofa process turned out differently, if we had 10,000 u.s. troops in the country today, would things be
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appreciably different? iraniraq's relations with be different? syriathey be dealing with differently? if we had a military presence on the ground today in the thousands, would that give us any meaningful leverage in the politics of the country? to theuld difefer ambassador for an iraqi perspective, but it seems to me securitythose negotiations succeeded and that we had a presence along those numbers, that is not enough to make a military difference, nor should it be. it would be a powerful signal in iraq to iran and in the region was the united states engaged, involved, interested, and effective, and i think it
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would have reshaped calculations in capitals, starting with baghdad, and tehran, and right around the region. military as it were, as a political presence, as a signal of u.s. engagement and involvement. during my time in iraq, in addition to the first security agreement, we had a long term to sendhat was intended that very simple. it was predicated on the assumption, which i think at the time both governments in the united states and in iraq, shared, that there would be a success of security agreement. -- successor security agreement. the intent on the sides was a
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signal for the first time since the 1958 revolution that overthrew the monarchy that rock was going to be a strategic partner of the u.s. in particular and of the world in general. that agreement still exists, still in force, but i think the full withdrawal of u.s. military, except for the small contingent left for training and equipping, reduced our leverage. i would say one other thing. you can still have substantial leverage in international politics without military forces. i am not sure that we have taken full advantage of those opportunities, and i hope very much as we enter a second obama administration that the administration is going to have a greater and deeper focus on the importance of iraq and did
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gauge iraq war fully come more frequently, and at higher levels, because we have seen what happens when the relationship deteriorates, as it and particularly under saddam. with our military beveridge gone, we need to take advantage of the agreement to increase our political leverage, not to make iraq do things, but to demonstrate to iraq that it has a partner, it has an ally, it has options other than looking to iran for all the reasons that emma skyk just laid out. >> there is a limited bandwidth in washington in dealing with these issues, and part of the tragedy of afghanistan, was thate

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